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Full text of "Voyages of discovery in the Arctic and Antarctic seas and round the world [microform] : being personal narratives of attempts to reach the North and South Poles, and of an open-boat expedition up the Wellington Channel in search of Sir John Franklin and Her Majesty's ships "Erebus" and "Terror", in Her Majesty's boat "Forlorn Hope", under the command of the author to which are added an autobiography, appendix, portraits, maps and numerous illustrations"

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1 2 3 









IRINimi I.V Cilllllll AM. l<IVIK(i1(.N, I IMM I 

ViMMl Braobf, Day * Sd^ Utk- 

AT tS 

Fiom a portrait bf Midshipmui Skiancr. Dtawn on board of M.M.S. " Icarus." 

rtoKTuriaeir to vou II. 








AND or AN 





A U T () 13 I O G 11 A P H Y. A T P E N D I X, 

poiuaiis, iVlaps, anti nnmciona 1EIInstr.itipn«. 



Chief Medical OJpcer, NaturaliH, and Oeologiat lo the Expeditioiu. 

VOL. U. 

lonlioii : 



f 4 /f Z' 








Departure fr.,m the Norc- Stromness-CJrccnIaiul-Rc.mnrkal.Ie 
Klspar Iwnd.s-Ksriuiniaux-Kamhlcs over the island— \ 
liazardous descent- Departure for Di«co . 



Disco- A curious breakfast- The native waitress -The governor 
-His house-My dogs and Terror-An I.s.iui. 
tuaux l>all^ Ascent of Disro mountain -A dangerous en- 
terprise^ I reaih the summit- .S|.ctin.ens Ilie squadron 
again under weigh 

" ■■•••.. 


Ui)ernivik--'|-he church-dovcrnor's house Hartcr with the 
natives~In Melville Hay-Thc /f,so/„f, nipped hy bcrgs^ 
A rold bath- We board the wreck A\-^u,//„ A whaling 
neet-(Jrand march of the fishermen I )riving the dog-sledges 
—Visiting the whalers- A bear-hunt- On the march . 


The Mr/.e//fn nipped -Collision with our ship- Wreck of the 
A/<-/.r/Ufi—We pursue our track - Magnificent view-Cape 






York — In the open sea once more — We visit a native settle- 
ment — Red snow— Esquimaux curiosity — Capes Usborn and 
Crokor's Hay— Volunteers for my boat expedition- Sight 
Leopold Island 38 


Beechy Island -Off Caswall Tower— Cape Riley — A bear chase — 
A cairn and graves — Wellington Channel— We inspect the 
Mary, left by Sir John Ross - I apply for leave to start on my 
expedition whilst the channel is open — The commodore inter- 
poses obstacles — My plans thwarted — Our ships disperse — 
My boat ready for starting 



I return from the boat expedition — On board the North Star 
—Ship driven ashore— Severe weather— Blasting the ice — 
Cape Spencer — The last o( the sun - Set a fox-trap — An Arctic 
raven — Christmas Day — The old roast beef of England — 
Letting in 1853 — Hard weather and good cheer- First sun- 
shine for three months 



Lost in the snow-drift — Excursoin to Caswall's Tower — Our frozen 
sherry — Losing our way — 'I'lie dogs give in — I dig a trench in 
the snow — We lie down and spend the night in it — All right 
in the morning — Search parties despatched after us 



Weather worse than ever — Examining the Mary for our proposed 
spring expedition — Narrow escape from a fatal atcident- 
Laid up with broken ribs — Visit from one of the mates of 
[he Resolute -\)i\x<\ specimens— My first Arctic hare — An 
Arctic butterfly — Rambling, sketching, shooting — Geological 
specimens .......,,. 



Successful ascent of Caswall's Tower — Traces of an old Es(|uimaux 
encampment — Gain the summit — Collection of specimens 
— The PIkxhLx and Breadalbane come in sight — Lieutenant 
Bellot — Commander Inglcfield— Bellot's undertaking — I am 


appointed " ad.rtional " to the /%«•/,« -ndlofs deall, re- 
ported l,y l„s survivors -Loss of tl.e BmulMane in an ice nip 
-I get n.y baggage safely on board the yV/a^/,/U:-The Norlh 
Star ahnost deserted . 

()i> the way home- Weather-bound in (]raham Harbour- Disco 
-1_ - Anchorat Holsteinberg-The Moravian chapel 
-Death of .nydog Terror _ Wo near the 'Orkneys- 

Narrative of a Boat Expedition up the Wellington 
Channel in the Yeak 1852 


Suggestions for the Preservation of Health in Polar 
Climes . . 







Concluding Remarks on the Search for Sir John Franklin ,60 



Karly life-Careeras medical student-Entering the navy. . . ,83 


I'irstvoyageto the West Indies-Arrival at Barbadoes -Invalided 
— Return home in H.M.S. /carus 

. 190 


On the home station-Employed in the coast blockade -A .niv 
to o.nCapta.n Parry -Appointed to the Ilecla-vL^ 
nat,on at Royal College of, and at Naval Mcdd 
Board— Depart for Spitzbergen . Medical 








Return— Promoted— Study botany— A year's leave— Appointed 

to the Hyacinth ,qq 




To the West Indies again— Chase of a Slaver off Nassau— Again 

invalided— Return in the Anichne home . . .207 


A year on half-pay- -Attend Professor Jameson's Course of 

Lectures on Natural History at the Edinburgh University . 214 


Voyage to South America— Cape de Verde Islands— St. Paul's 

Rocks— Bahia— Rio Janeiro— Return .... 220 


On lialf-pay — With the combined sciuadrons in the blockade of 
Holland— Narrow escape in tlie Downs — Aground on the 
Goodwin Sands — Court-martial 225 


'i'hird voyage to the West Indies — The yellow fever— At Havanha 

— Invalided home 233 


Four years on half-pay — Pedestrian tours through England and 
Wales — Visit to Dublin— Appointment to the Terror — Ship 
paid off 246 


Fourth walking tour — West of England and Wales — Ascent of 

Cader Idris -A balloon on her Majesty's Coronation Day . 253 


In the Lake district- Ascent of Skiddaw and Helvellyn — A 

rough walk to Ambleside 266 






Aiipointed to the En-bus for the Antarctic KxpccUtion — The 

Queen's Z<7'c*— Final arrangements— Departure . .278 


On half-pay again, iS.jj — Applications for promotion — Fellow 
of Royal College of Surgeons -Appointed to the yacht 
William and Mary 28^^ 


Transferred to the /'}\i,ntard frigate — Unfair treatment by the 

Director-general — 'Sir Gordon Bremer — Am supcrswled 290 


The Aucklanil Whaling Company — My plans for a Franklin Search 
expedition — I^dy Franklin's approval —A holid.iy on the 
continent 297 


Plan of boat voyage brought before the House of Commons - 
Plan rejected by the Admiralty — Cross purposes . 



My new plan of search— Difficidtics with oftuialism — Am at 
last offered the appointment of surgeon to the North Star 
— Accept it on urgent pressure of friends — More obstacles 
— Departure of expedition .... . . 



Again on half-pay after my return in 1853 —Complete my chart 
at the Hydrographical Department of the Admiralty, and 
circulate a few private cojjies of my Boat voyage amongst 
friends to the search — Promotion still in abeyance — Dr. 
King's Arctic lectures 329 


* Contents. 

Leiter to the Rir.HT Hon. Ceorge Ward Hint, M.P., 

First Lord of the Admiralty, &c 365 

R^'-''^ .... 368 


Plans of Search, Admiralty CoRRESPONDENcr, and Tes- 
timonials g 






Portrait of Author, set. 25 Frontispiece 

Arctic Squadron at anchor, Whale-fish Islands .... 3 
Hack of Disco Mountain, and place of ascent .... 

Glaciated Ancient Crater, Disco Strait 

Estiuimaux Dogs to face 

Disco Mountain ......... 

I-ievcly Harbour, Disco „ 

Upcrnivik, Northernmost Danish Settlement of Greenland . 

Tlie Devil's Thumb, Melville Bay 

Whaling Fleet in Melville Bay to face 

("ape York, Greenland , 

Remarkable traji dykes and glacier, Lancaster Sound . 

AWth Star ashore, Beechey Island .... to face 

Sir John Ross's yacht, the Mary, Beechey Island 

Bold headland, south side, Beechey Island, with fox-trap 

View from summit of Caswall's Tower . . . to face 

Peaked mountain, Graham Harbour, I ascended, by the dotted 

track up and down 
Buttressed Mountain . 









Holsteinberg, Greenland ...... to face 

Map of Smith's Sound 

The Forlorn Hope 

Map of Melville Island . ... to head Franklin Search 

Forlorn Hope running under the lee of two icebergs, aground in 
the Wellington Channel, in a gale of wind, 23rd August, 
1852 to face 105 

Cnpc Spencer, bearing W.M.W. (all the bearings are magnetic) 

distant two miles to face 106 





Z,m/ of Illustrations and Maps. 








. . 

to J ace 


• t 


• • 







launching of the boat over the drift ice from Lovell Point 

Encampment to face 108 

Cape Bowden, from the summit of Cape McBain, W.N.W. „ no 
Cape McBain, bearing W.S.VV. . . . to face /olloic<ing Engraving 

Cape Daniell, bearing N.W to face 112 

Encampment at the base of Cape Bellot . . . . „ 114 
Pim Point, S.W. Bay of Refuge. Cape King, S.W. by \V. 

to face following Engraving 
McCormirk Bay (named by the Hydrographer of the Admiralty) 

Rogier Head, South 

Cape Osbom, bearing N. . 

Franklin Beacon, bearing S.E. by E. . 

Mount Providence, Baring Bay, bearing West 

Encampment, Mount Providence, Baring Bay 

Owen Point, distant five miles, bearing E.S.E 

Westernmost Bluffs of AU'red Bay, bearing E. by S., and Peak, 

E.S.E., as seen from the summit of Owen Point . to face 
Owen Point Encampment, North Point of Baring Bay, bearing 

E.S.E to face 

Mount Providence, with Eden Point, and Cape Osbom, W.N.W., 

as seen from the summit of Owen Point . to face 

Franklin's Beacon, S.S.E „ 

Coast of Cornwallis Land, on the opposite side of Wellington 

Channel, as seen from the Bay of Refuge . . to face 

Domville Point, N ,, 

Cape Toms, bearing S.W , 

Encampment in Griffin Bay , 

Caswell Tower, from Beechey Island . . . „ 

Portrait of Autlior's Father Frontispiece to Autobiography 

Quercu ^rmickii, or Tartary Oak 183 

The D .u Rock, Martinique 

Nassau Light-house, and Hyacinth's Boats in chase of a Slaver . 

The Church, East end of Nassau 

A Arater-spout seen between Bermuda and Jamaica on August 7th, 


The Moro Castle, Havana 233 

Her Majesty's Yacht William and Mary at Woolwich . 290 

Remarkable Duck end of Autobiography 



























J> i: 

i '' 


P M': CmniLkKN. 

Lcai^thiilf West ttaai Gvfeiwich 


MAP OF MELVILLE ISLAND &c. ioac mu .ac^ 






Arctic Squadron at anchor, Whale-tish Islands. {Seepage 7.) 










Departure from the Nore — Stromness — Greenland — Remarkable 
Felspar bands — Esquimaux — Rambles over the island — A hazardous 
descent — Departure for Disco. 

Wednesday, April 2ist, 1852. — At five a.m. the North 
Star was taken in tow by the Lightning steamer, and 
the rest of the Arctic squadron, Assistance, Resolute, 

I! 2 

^ I 

Ie TITLF PACE search volu. 




I ii 


4 Foyagcs of Discovery. 

Intrepid^ and Pioncrr^ by the steamers Desperate and 
Basilisk, and left Greenhithe to follow up the search for 

At nine a.m. we anchored off the little Nore. A lovely, 
bright, sunny morning. Captain Charles Hope, of H.M.S. 
Monarch, at Sheerness, came on board, and inspected 
the ship. Twenty years ago, when he was in command 
of the Tyne, of twenty-eight guns, I returned from Rio 
Janeiro to England as a passenger on board that ship, 
and, on my making myself known to him, he shook me 
most cordially by the hand, heartily wishing me every 
success in my present undertaking. 

Thursday,22nd.-^At five a.m. weighed, and were taken 
in tow by the African steamer till two p.m., when we cast 
her off, and with a fair wind, and under a press of 
canvas, ran along the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts. Saw 
Alborough, Lowestoft, &c., and between five and six p.m. 
passed outside of Yarmouth Roads, at the back of the 
sands, having a distant view of Nelson's Monument, 
St. Nicholas Church, Gorlston Church, and the windmills 
on the Denes. 

At eight p.m. I saw Winterton Light on the port 
quarter, and soon after the two lights of Hasborough. 
On quitting the deck to turn in, at ten p.m., I saw 
Cromer Light, and also the light placed on the Has- 
borough Sands, since I was last along this coast, now 
twenty-five years ago, in H.M.S. Hecla, in Parry's 
attempt to reach the North Pole. During the night, as 
we entered upon the wider expanse of waters of the North 
Sea, out of sight of land, we encountered a short, 
tumbling sea, in which the ship rolled heavily, in a fresh 
gale of wind, under double-reefed topsails. Lost sight of 
the rest of the squadron astern. 

Saturday, 2.\th. — Off Buchaness Head, and took a 
sketch of it. On the following day, Sunday, 25th, at 
nine a.m., anchored off Stromness. 

In Davis's Straits. 

Monday, 26th. — At eleven a.m. I landed at Stromness, 
and on entering the " Commercial Inn," I met Lieutenant 
Pirn, of the Resolute, there, who introduced me to Dr. 
Hamilton, a resident in the place, who was married to a 
sister of Dr. Rae, the Arctic traveller, and had himself 
been formerly in the navy. I took a sketch of the town 
and harbour of Stromness. 

Wednesday, 28th. — Sailed at two p.m., passing the 
bold headlands of Hoy and the Black Crag. Took a 
sketch of the Old Man of Hoy. 

Wednesday, May ^th. — Blowing a hard gale of wind, 
in which the ship rolled heavily. One of these seas 
struck her on the port forechains, stove in three of the 
ports, part of the hammock netting, the gangway door, 
and the bows of the boat in the waist, at the same time 
the starboard quarter-boat filled, when the hook giving 
way, she, with all her gear, was washed away. This sea, 
after flooding the main-deck everywhere below, and put- 
ting out the galley fire, carried overboard with it one of 
our hapless pigs. 

Saturday, St/i. — The steamer, after having supplied us 
with a cutter to replace the boat we lost in the recent 
gale, parted company with the squadron at noon to-day. 

Monday, \oth. — I saw the first mallemuck {Procellaria 
^lactalis), and in the evening a flock were flying round 
the ship. A copy of Gilley's " Shipwrecks of the Royal 
Navy " happening to be in the ship's library, I, for the 
first time in my life, read the account of the melancholy 
loss of H.M.S. ships Defence and St. George on that fatal 
reef off the coast of Jutland, when returning with the 
Baltic Fleet, on Christmas Eve, in the year 181 1, when 
my poor father perished in the first-named ship. 

Thursday, May 20th. — At 5.30 a.m. I went on deck to 
see the first piece of ice, just visible on the margin of 
the horizon, in the form of three small hummocks, some 
two leagues distant, we having just entered within Davis's 

li V 

»* .! 

! II 



6 l/oynfiea of Discovery. 

Straits. Saw a snow bunting, two little auk, a malle- 
muck or two, and a small flock of kittiwakes. 

Friday, 2\st. — At eleven a.m. saw the land in the 
vicinity of Cape Comfort, four or five leagues distant, on 
starboard beam ; but unluckily the weather became so 
thick and misty, with a driving sleet, that its snow- 
capped summit was too indistinctly seen to get a sketch 
of the cape. 

Monday, 24///. — At 4.30 a.m. I went on deck to have 
a look at the land. The bleak, barren-looking coast of 
Greenland appeared on the starboard beam at a distance 
of some four or five leagues, extending along the horizon 
in a line of black and white cliffs, piebald with the mant- 
ling of snow, a white haze concealing the base. One 
remarkable and lofty peak appeared to be intersected 
from the summit to the base by a large trap dyke. I 
took several sketches whilst beating up. Lat. at noon 
64° 27', long. 52° 31.' 

Saturday, 29M. — A thick, foggy day, with snow falling 
and light winds, standing in for the Whale-fish Islands. 
As we approached the island at the back of which the 
settlement is situated, the dense curtain of misf lifted 
for a short interval, enabling me to get a complete sketch 
of the land on either side. High hills on the port, and 
low-lying islands extending along the horizon on the 
starboard side, interspersed here and there with a berg or 
small stream of ice. The solitude was enlivened by the 
shrill and animated notes of a flock of tern, which, with 
two or three flocks of the eider-duck, and a few looms 
swimming about, gave welcome variety. I had scarcely 
finished my sketch when the horizon all round became 
suddenly overcast with a continuous fall of snow, until 
after we had anchored in the harbour. When we were 
some three or four miles from the anchorage nine canoes 
came off and paddled around us, one only was of a white 
colour from the effects of age, the others were dark. 


■ 1. 1 1^ 

Tht Squadron anchor at Whale-Jish Islands. 7 

The Esquimaux in their yellow-seamed, dark jackets, and 
round-topped caps, with a sort of French peak, and harpoon 
lines coiled on a tripod in front of them, a spear on either 
side, and a dark-skin bag inflated for a buoy, in the stem 
at the back of them, altogether presented a picturesque 
scene. We anchored in a perfectly land-locked harbour, 
the granitic cliffs all round scarcely attaining an altitude 
of 100 feet, clothed with a brownish vegetation between 
the patches of snow. As we hauled round the point of 
the island, on which a kind of flagstaff of the whale's 
jaw-bone was erected, several groups of Esquimaux had 
assembled, running from rock to rock to get the best 
view of the ships coming in. Indeed the Arctic squadron 
of five vessels must have presented a very imposing 
spectacle to these fur-clad children of the floe, some of 
whom came aboard. 

Sunday, y>th. — I went on board the Resolute to see 
old Captain Kellett, who had been so ill as to have been 
confined to his cabin the whole of the way out. I found 
him sitting up in his cabin, with several officers around 
him. He was looking much reduced in flesh and strength, 
but in excellent spirits, joking with those around him, and 
telling me that I was to be knighted on my return. 

Monday, 315/. — Fine day with a temperature of 38° 
Fahr. I landed on the island on which the Danish 
settlement is located, accompanied by my young friend, 
Frank Toms, the assistant-surgeon of the North Star. 
On the beach several Esquimaux canoes were lying near 
a small, rude storehouse, called by the Dane an ale- 
house. This Dane, by name Fritz Emiel Torgenfead, 
and styled the governor, lives in a small hut a little 
higher up the hill, surrounded by the putrid carcases of 
seals and other filth. A group of Esquimaux women 
and about half a score of children were squatting about 
outside, with several fine dogs of mixed Danish and 
Esquimaux breed. On entering the hut we passed 



Voyages of Discovery, 




! f 

through two small anterooms, containing a sledge and 
harness for the dogs, a few fresh dog-skins, and the 
wooden framework of a small canoe not yet covered with 
sealskin, and intended for the use of the child of the 
Dane, whom we found in the innermost apartment, seated 
near a small table close to the only window, formed of 
a dozen panes of glass, and employed reading a 
Dutch prayer-book alone. He told me that he was 
married to an Esquimaux woman, which would be a 
barrier to his return to his native land, " Huskey " women 
not being permitted to be naturalized in Denmark. He 
had resided here two years. The settlement, he informed 
us, contained altogether about loo natives, including the 
children. The winter is the great fishing season, little 
being done in that way in the summer months. He had 
two narwhale's horns in his possession, which we bought 
of him, each of us one. 

The furniture of this apartment consisted of a broad 
bench of boards, loosely covered with a few sealskins, 
occupying one side of the room as a bed-place, and on the 
other side a small deal table and a chair, with an old 
guitar suspended from the wall, which was papered with 
Danish newspapers, and the solitary Dutch prayer-book 
constituted the library of this poor, simple-minded recluse. 
He very civilly accompanied us down to the beach to 
show us his canoe, the doors of the hut closing after us 
with a weight as we made our egress. The canoe, how- 
ever, had gone off to the ships, and we did not see it. I 
thought of purchasing it, but he asked too much — twenty 
dollars Danish money, upwards of 2/. sterling. After I 
had taken a sketch of the harbour with the ships in the 
distance, we continued our excursion over to the west 
side of the island, which is here very narrow. Four or 
five of the Esquimaux dogs voluntarily accompanied us 
round the island, presumably as guides, for others tied 
up set up such a tremendous howl in concert on our de- 
parture, as if they too had an equal claim to accompany us. 

Remarkable veins or bands of Salmon-coloured Felspar. 9 

The whole island is of granitic formation, and with the 
broad bands of salmon-coloured felspar, and here and 
there veins of pure white quartz intersecting the face of 
the rocks, presenting sections of a grey, salmon, and 
white colour, embossed in the hollows with the scanty 
vegetation of mosses, lichens, and the dwarf willow, 
creeping along the barren soil amongst the smooth- 
looking masses of water-worn granite, have a very pic- 
turesque effect, to which the deep fissures or gorges in 
the rocks where the surf breaks in, add another and 
additional wildness to the scene. We only met with 
three or four snow-buntings on the island, but saw a 
few tern gracefully skimming the surface of the sea, 
which was studded by several icebergs. The lively, 
musical note of the pretty agile little tern relieved the 
sombre solitude around. Having taken a diagram of this 
remarkable veining of the rocky coast and collected a 
few specimens, we returned to the landing-place, where 
we again met the Dane, and gave him an invitation to 
come on board and see the ship. Our old quarter-master 
came for us in the dingy, and we got on board to dinner 
at three p.m. 

After dinner, accompanied by Alston, the mate, pulled 
in the dingy round the island to the eastward for about 
two miles, landing up a creek, but a fog coming on com- 
pelled us to return on board at seven p.m. 

Tuesday, June \st. — Very fine day, with strong breezes. 
At 9.30 a.m. I landed opposite the ships on the north 
island, ascended the ridge of hills above, and descended 
on the opposite side into a valley or ravine running east 
and west; the cleavage planes of the plutonic rocks 
dipping to the east at an angle of 20°, which appears to 
be the general bearing and direction of the ridges and 
valleys. The hollows were many of them deeply filled 
with snow-drift. Ascending another hill and collecting 
some rocks, and filling my botanical case with plants, I 
left them on the summit after taking the bearings of the 



Voyages cf Discovery. 


I 'i 

: ^ 


■i ttl 



\ ■ 

surrounding islands, and then descended into another 
ravine, and eventually reached the summit of the highest 
hill on the island, some 200 feet in altitude. 

I now retraced my steps from this the centre hill of the 
island, and recrossing the ravine to the summit of the 
first hill, where I had left my case of plants and rocks, I 
freighted myself with them, and returned to the harbour, 
getting on board at two p.m. After dinner, accompanied 
by Toms, I took the dingy and pulled as far as the 
point at the west end of the south island, and landing, 
ascended the high ridge of rocks above the anchorage 
of the ships, and down to the valley on the opposite 
side, from which I returned by a steep, narrow gorge in 
the almost perpendicular rocks, down to the water's 
edge, opposite the ships, where Toms was in reidiness 
with the boat to take me on board, just in time for tea, at 
six p.m. A party of the Esquimaux, men and women, 
came alongside this evening in a large boat, having a 
little girl with them, dressed in the same costume as her 
seniors. I took a sketch of the upper and lower ends of 
the harbour before I turned in at midnight. 

Friday, ^th. — A very fine day. I landed on the small 
island west of the Esquimaux Settlement Island, and 
separated from it by a narrow strait. A number of tern 
were hovering around me, so vociferous that they must 
have had eggs in the vicinity, although, after a very 
diligent search, I could not discover any, after walking 
over the whole island. I collected a few plants and 
rocks, and took a sketch of the anchorage with the ships, 
returning on board in the dingy at 1.30 p.m. After tea, 
and just as I was about leaving the ship in the dingy 
with Toms and Alston, a young Esquimaux and his 
father came alongside, and their canoe was the most 
symmetrical in form, and newer in appearance than any 
I had hitherto seen, but they would not sell it. Pulled 
for the second island from the settlement, and having 

i bV 

Perilous Descent of a Mountain Precipice, r i 

landed there, I ascended the highest hill geologizing, 
whilst my companions amused themselves in shooting 
tern. We next pulled across to the opposite shore, and 
I landed on the farthest point, through a heavy swell 
and at the expense of a ducking in the surf. I ascended 
to the summit of this portion of the North Island with 
ease, and crossed over to the precipitous cliffs beneath 
which the boat with my three companions was waiting 
to pick me up on my return. 

I had before me a most difficult and hazardous descent 
to accomplish down the very face of a cliff some 200 
feet in height, and almost as perpendicular as a wall, 
broken only by vertical ledges of rock intersected by 
deep chasms and fissures, made slippery with ice or 
running streams of water, with hollows and cracks filled 
with snow-wreaths. At one moment I was crawling on 
all fours, over mural ledges of rock, and at another leap- 
ing from crag to crag, or sinking knee-deep in some hol- 
low of snow. I at last, after repeated efforts, succeeded 
in reaching the beach below in safety, upon which I 
should have been very summarily hurled instantly, had I 
made one false step in my perilous progress ; neverthe- 
less I managed to snatch up a few specimens of mosses, 
plants, and rocks in my downward course, as mementoes 
of this little adventure, and to complete the natural 
history of these isles. My companions in the boat loudly 
cheered me on, when they caught sight of me in the 
most perilous part of my descent, on the precipitous 
ledges just below the summit. 

Saturday^ ^th. — The squadron weighed at seven a.m., 
and with bright, sunny weather, stood out of the harbour 
from the Whale-fish Islands, by the North Channel, in 
the direction of Disco — the bold, high, and remarkable 
black cliffs of which appeared to the eastward, about 
five leagues distant, and off which we arrived in the 
evening, but did not let go the anchor until eleven p.m. 




Voyages of Discovery. 



Several large and remarkable-looking bergs were 
aground off Disco, one having an archway right through 
it ; another with deep caverns like church porches, at the 
entrance ; one resembling a cottage with a garden wall, 
another in the shape of a sphinx. The sea here is 
open, and free from floe ice ; two eider-ducks passed us. 
On the point entering the harbour on the starboard hand, 
the Danish flag, swallow-tailed in shape, having a red 
ground with a white cross, was flying over a sort of tent, 

Sunday^ 6th. — Foggy weather ; after breakfast got up 
the anchor again, to shift our berth farther up the har- 
bour; and, what has been no very unusual thing with 
the North Star, got on shore on the rocks, on the 
weather side, within thirty yards of the beach, when warp- 
ing up, eleven a.m., having a rock nearly awash at high 
water, a few yards only under the bows. The ship 
heeled over to a considerable angle to port, and did not 
get olT till the next high tide, at nine p.m. I saw a 
raven to-day for the first time during the voyage. 

Back of Disco Mountain, and place of ascent. {See page 19.) 

li \a 

Glaciated Ancient Crater, Disco Strait. {See page 24.) 


Disco— A curious breakfast — The native waitress— The governor — His 
house — My dogs Erebus and Terror— An Esquimaux ball — Ascent 
of Disco mountain — A dangerous enterprise— I reach the summit 
— Specimens — The squadron again under weigh. 

Monday, June 'jilt. — A very fine day ; after breakfast I 
went on shore to call on the governor, accompanied by 
Toms. We were very kindly received, and a second 
breakfast was ordered for us, which possessed the charm 
of novelty from the various dainties of native produce 
placed before us. Eider-duck dressed in a form much 
resembling a beef-olive, and having much the same 
flavour. Another dish consisted of the inner portion of 
Ihe skin of the whale, preserved in vinegar, and present- 
ing a curious piebald appearance, the strips or ribbons 
into which it was cut being half black and half white, 
but somewhat insipid to our taste. A third dish was 
a pudding, made of cod-fish and currants, having an 
indescribable taste. With all these delicacies we had 
each a cup of coffee, Danisn biscuits, and brown bread, 
and a cordial with some ginger gin completed this 



\ \ 



H' I' 



Voyages of Discovery. 

unique repast. Not less novel and interesting to us 
was the appearance of the young Esquimaux girl who 
placed these good things before us. 

She was a fresh, healthy, good-looking girl of sixteen, 
with a skin as fair and cheeks of as ruddy a colour 
as any English country girl. Her hair, of a light-brown 
colour, was twisted up into a top-knot at the crown of 
the head, and bound round by a yellow ribbon. Her 
dress, a pink-checked, linen jacket, with the collar and 
cuffs trimmed with fur ; seal-skin breeches, and white 
skin boots meeting these at the knee, having a band 
of red colour round the calf, and surmounted by white 
linen legging, which, with small rings in her ears, com- 
pleted her toilet. 

The governor appears to be a man of about fifty years 
of age, a tall, stout, manly-looking Dane, with the usual 
light hair of his country, wearing a small black silk 
skull-cap on the crown of his head, and dressed in a 
purple-check, linen jacket, with fur collar and cuffs, 
and seal-skin trousers. 

The entrance to the governor's apartment is through 
a long winding dark passage from the front door, the 
floor of the room boarded, and having a rug under the 
table, which was placed next to a green-baize-covered 
sofa, and on the blue-coloured wall above it three 
engravings of landscapes in frames were suspended, 
with a looking-glass and a mirror between the two 
windows. These windows were small, formed of a dozen 
panes of glass, and overlooking the harbour and the 
steep, lofty hills on the opposite side. On the right 
of the sofa stood a buffet containing cordials and liqueurs, 
and between this and the door the tall, massive, 
iron stove, in the shape of a pillar, in which the fire is 
not seen had there been one, being quite enclosed. 
On the opposite side of the room stood a chest of 
drawers, surmounted by a coloured view of the settle- 


t of 









1 i B 



Purchase two Esquimatix Dogs, Erebus and Terror. 1 5 

ment of Upernivik, representing a Moravian chapel, and 
some four houses backed by an angular-shaped hill, 
resembling a pyramid. Of this settlement, the governor 
told me, he had been in charge for some seven years 
previous to his coming here. Beneath this picture was 
suspended a daguerreotype of a son of his, now in 
Copenhagen for his education. 

On either side of this were engravings from Schiller ; 
on the left of the sofa stood a writing-desk, and half a dozen 
walnut-backed chairs, with red-flowered chintz bottoms. 
A door from this opened into the bedroom at the back, 
in which stood a small bedstead without curtains, and 
numerous papers scattered about a table at one corner. 
We did not see his wife, but his little boy of eight or nine 
years of age made his appearance at breakfast. 

I afterwards accompanied the governor to the store- 
house, containing whale-lines, seal-skin jackets, biscuits, 
corn-beef, and pork, and he also showed me over the 
new house building for the inspector-general of this 
district. It contains eight rooms on the ground floor, 
and room for as many more on the upper one, each room 
being lighted by glazed windows. A piece of ground is 
enclosed in at the back for a garden. 

I next visited the blacksmith's shop, to purchase three 
dogs for the use of the expedition. I also bought two pups 
for myself, about four months old, brother and sister, (the 
young Esquimaux dog being the colour of the polar bear, a 
creamy white, and the bitch a prettily-marked black and 
white,) for two Danish dollars, or ^s. sterling. I named 
them at once after my old ships, of which we are now 
in search, the dog, Erebus, and the bitch. Terror. 

Afterwards I visited the Esquimaux hut, where I found 
the natives all assembled for a dance, the young girls 
waltzing with some of the officers of the expedition, in 
which my young friend Toms was taking a very pro- 
minent part. The governor's secretary was also one of 



i ', 



yoya^es of Discovery. 

the number. The old Esquimaux woman, who appeared 
as the duenna, was seated on the broad bench which 
serves the purpose of a bed at night and a couch or 
sofa by day. Alongside of her I took up my position, 
to witness the proceedings of a ball taking place under 
circumstances of so novel a nature. An engineer belong- 
ing to one of the tenders was playing the fiddle, to which 
the girls kept excellent time, and seemed to enjoy the 
whole very much. The governor's attendant, whom we 
saw at breakfast, by name Marie, with her sister Sophie, 
also a very pretty girl, a year or two older than her sister, 
and evidently the belles of the settlement, were eagerly 
sought for in the dance as partners. 

From this lively scene I proceeded to one of the huts, 
to see an Esquimaux woman, the wife of one of the 
Danes, who was confined to her bed by an injury to the 
knee, and after going on board for my lancet-case, I 
opened a large abscess, which had been a source of 
much suffering to the poor creature. Afterwards I 
ascended the hill above the flagstaff, and called on the 
governor. Returned on board to tea. In the evening, 
the governor, accompanied by his secretary, came on 
board and remained until near midnight, and the whole 
of the Esquimaux women, who had been to dances got 
up on board the Resolute and Assistance, came on board 
of us, and finished their day's amusement with us. 
Waltzes and reels were kept up on the quarter-deck, 
in which both officers and men joined, with great spirit, 
till midnight, the gun-room steward playing the 

The girls drank large quantities of water whilst dancing, 
and sang well, having good voices, with an admirable 
ear for keeping time. Wine, gin, and rum were handed 
to those who drank them, the men and the old women. 
The governor and his secretary played tunes on the 
violin, and sang well in our mess-room, where they 


1 i. 

Vtsii to the Esquimaux Hut. 


partook of wine and smoked cigars. The whole party 
left in their canoes at midnight. 

Tuesday, 8t/t. — I went on shore and called on the 
governor and on my Esquimaux patient, and afterwards, 
accompanied my young friend Toms to the Esquimaux 
hut, where the dance had taken place yesterday. We 
found the girls all very busy at their work, making 
leather watch-cases and other trinkets, and one old 
woman was employed in dressing the hair of a young 
girl just entering her teens. When combed down over 
her shoulders, her hair, which was of different shades of 
colour, was so long as to reach down to her heels. The 
old duenna at the dance was at work in her customary 

After some persuasion, I succeeded in getting Sophie 
to part with a pair of her best white boots. For these 
I gave her five shillings. Another pair, of a yellow 
colour, I bought of another woman for four shillings. 
The interior of the hut was rendered exceeding warm by 
an iron fireplace closed up. A gay-looking Dutch clock, 
surmounted by a group of red roses, ornamented the 
wall near the door, and some plates of ladies' fashions the 
opposite end of the apartment. The room was lighted 
by glazed windows. 

I went to the Danish blacksmith's and paid for my two 
Ecquimaux dogs, directing that they should be sent on 
board this afternoon. I gave the governor's secretary a 
monkey-jacket in exchange for a pair of Esquimaux fur 
boots. He kindly brought them himself down to the 
boat with me, and on the way I gave him a new silk 
kerchief —he having been much struck with the pattern 
on it — as a parting present. 

Tuesday, ^une 8th. — At four p.m. I landed in the 
dingy at the top of the harbour, to ascend to the summit 
of the remarkable mountain opposite to the settlement, 
to ascertain its correct height above the level of the sea. 

VOL. II. - c 

i I 

\ ^i } 


Voyaji^cs of Discovviy. 

Our old quartcr-niastcr, Pago, returned on board with the 
dingy, leaving me to aeconiplish the task I had imposed 
upon myself, alone and companionless in the mighty 
solitudes of these vast surroundings of mountains and 
ravines, fdled by the countless ages of glacier ice and 

Having taken the height of my aneroid barometer on 
landing, which was the same as when I left the ship, 
29° 32', and the thermometer at 56° Fahr., I struck 
across the low, swampy ground, and rocky ridges, from 
the surveying mark, in the direction of the right spur of 
the mountain, passing over one rather steep ridge before 
I reached it at 5.15 p.m., when the aneroid indicated 
28° 32', the thermometer being 52°. Here I flushed a 
ptarmigan in its summer plumage, a mottled brown, and 
shot it, picking up a few planes on my way. I now fairly 
began the ascent of the right spur of the mountain, first 
over a steep slope of sandy ddbris, studded with loose 
fragments of rock. On gaining the summit of this ridge 
the ascent increased in steepness, and narrowed in 
breadth, and when I had attained to near the base of the 
craggy part of the upper portion of the mountain the 
ridge became so very sharp-edged, and the gusts of wind 
so violent that I was compelled to advance on hands and 
knees astride it, and on reaching the overhanging craggy 
precipice, found all further attempts quite impracticable, 
and out of the question in this direction. 

In addition to the steepness, the fragments of rock 
were so loosely embedded in the ddbris, and so easily 
displaced by the weight of the body, which frequently 
had to be entrusted to their stability, that they fell 
crumbling into pieces on the least pressure, rolling down 
the precipices into the ravines with fearful velocity. On 
this spot, arresting as it did any further advance, I found 
a staff fixed in a small cairn of stones, most probably by 
some previous adventurer, who, to mark his failure, placed 

' !l 









)ly by 






Ascent of Disco Mountain. 


it here ; and I confess I was myself all but disposed to 
give it up too; but at six p.m., after taking the height of 
my aneroid, which indicated 27° 67', and the thermometer 
48°, I resolved that the last two hours of incredible labour 
and exertion should not be wholly thrown away, and I 
came to the determination at once to attempt to get 
round the back of the mountain on the inland side, in 
short to outflank it. Here only a narrow ledge was left 
for me to follow immediately beneath the overhanging, 
craggy summit, and the steep slope of the dibris beneath. 
In this attempt, after encountering no small difficulties, 
at the momentary risk of some treacherous fragment 
giving way under my feet, and hurling me to the bottom 
of the precipice into the ravine below, a depth of nearly 
2000 feet, I succeeded at last in reaching an angular 
projecting fragment of rock, about the centre of the back 
of the mountain. 

This perpendicular pinnacle of projecting rock, extend- 
ing between me and the summit, some twenty to thirty 
feet above my head, barred the narrow ledge on which I 
stood, and had been progressing with barely sufficient 
foothold to maintain my balance against the furious gusts 
of wind that directed their full force on this side of the 

The only alternative now left me was either to retrace 
my steps after nearly four hours of such toil as I had 
already undergone, or risk the surmounting this pinnacle 
of cracked and decaying rock, dilapidated after ages of 
exposure to the climate in this region of everlasting frost 
and snow, till its crumbling condition presented a very 
frail hold indeed to trust to in scrambling up it. Having 
first thrown my old and favourite double-barrelled gun, 
with an effort, upon the secure flat surface of the summit 
above, I followed it with a spring, giving the tottering 
mass a kick as I did so, to aid the effort of propulsion to 
a secure footing on the very top of the mountain. It 

c 2 

■i 1 


Voyages of Discovery. 

fortunately bore my weight, not a very great one, and I 
had the inexpressible gratification to find myself standing 
safe on its table-like top at eight p.m., after expending 
four hours in the attempt. 

At 7.15 p.m., when immediately beneath the craggy 
precipice, the aneroid indicated 27° 12', thermometer 
46°, and now at the summit, when near the front edge 
overlooking the harbour, it fell to 26° 92', and thermo- 
meter to 44°. At nine p.m., having crossed the top of 
a watercourse to a somewhat higher ridge, running 
backwards, I again took it, when it sunk to 26° 85' 
thermometer still at 44°. On my subsequent return to 
the landing-place, where the boat landed me, I again 
took it, when it had risen to 29° 18'. 

I remained for an hour and a quarter on the summit, 
but the greater height of the inland mountains entirely 
shut out all view of the Greenland coast, the prospect 
being bounded by hill-tops and deep ravines filled with 
snow in every direction, a scene of glaciation. And 
well might Hayes call it the " land of desolation." 

At the front of the mountain, immediately beneath 
me, lay the harbour of Lievely, dotted on the surface 
with the five vessels of our squadron, and a little Danish 
sloop. Beyond appeared the settlement on the small 
peninsula or rather island, forming the outer part of 
the land-locked harbour, and beyond this Baffin's Bay, 
with here and there a stream of ice, or a few scattered 
bergs, the Whale-fish Islands bounding the horizon to 
the westward. The long strip of land on which the settle- 
ment stands is deeply intersected by bights, with several 
small lakes or pools of water in its centre, one much 
larger than the rest. At two points of the western side 
I saw a hut or two of the Esquimaux. A few small 
islets skirt the margin outside. 

The summit of this mountain is flat, rising into a 
ridge at the back, covered with snow, and separated 

% ■ 

i ' 

'\> I 




Desce7it of the Mountain on the opposite side. 2 r 

by a boggy indentation, with a watercourse. A few 
mosses, lichens and grasses, were sparingly scattered 
over the surface. The whole mountain is composed of 
plutonic rocks, greenstone, &c., intersected near the 
summit, by dark-reddish, horizontal bands, three or four 
of these bands containing a claystone rock, and occur- 
ring at regular intervals on the upper acclivity of the 
mountain, which may be divided into three divisions — 
the upper third, the craggy rock ; the middle portion, 
loose, sandy debris ; and the lower or base, rocky ledges 
and ridges. I saw the track of the footsteps in the 
snow, near the highest part, of Lieutenant Pim and his 
party, who had ascended on the previous day. 

After gathering a few mosses and lichens, with a few 
rock specimens from the summit, I began the descent 
at 9.15 p.m., by the watercourse down the southern 
extremity, or opposite side of the mountain to the one at 
which I made the ascent, and found no difficulty ; the 
centre of the watercourse was now filled with snow, and 
I kept for the most part of the way along the edge of 
the rocks, on the right side in my descent. On my 
reaching the bottom, a drizzling rain came on and con- 
tinued until I got on board. Between the base of the 
mountain and the harbour, a distance of some two miles, 
the surface consists of rocky ledges, swampy marsh, and 
ridges of loose, sandy debris, studded here and there with 
fragments of rock. Here I collected a few more plants, 
and reached the rocks opposite to the ship, exactly 
at midnight, and our eld quarter-master, who landed 
me, now came for me again in the dingy, and I got on 
board at 12.30, well freighted with rocks, plants, and the 

Found Lieutenant Pim with Toms in the cabin of the 
latter, anxiously awaiting my return. Pim told me he 
had found the ascent one of the most difficult and 
dangerous of any he had ever before attempted, and that 



Voyages of Discovery. 

himself and his party were five hours and a half in reach- 
ing the summit by the course which I descended it, com- 
paratively an easy one. He, knowing that I was alone 
in my undertaking, was in some apprehensions for my 
safety. What would he have been had he been aware 
of the course I had taken ? For it aften^'ards appeared 

tiat no one before had ever reached the summit by the 
course I took from the inland side of the mountain ; 
the Danes have hitherto considered it quite impracti- 
cable. I accomplished it by this "new" route in the space 
of four hours from the landing-place, and I certainly was 

ic. '».ors than two hours in the descent on the south 
siilc I ',' the track along the watercourse. 

Thursday, \ oth. — The Arctic squadron got under weigh 
fhis tnornii:' ': breakfast-time. We were the first out of 
ti.e h? Ho'T ' ■; not a Dane or an Esquimaux appeared 
in the settle n. en*. • > .>ec us off. The weather was over- 
cast and gloomy. The ships stood to the southward 
and eastward, along the west side of Disco, steering 
for the Waygatz Strait. 

Friday, 1 1 th. — Running along the coast of Disco, 
with light winds and calms. In the evening sporting 
parties were sent on shore in search of game, in which 
I joined, and had a pull of about two miles to the 
shore, landing on a fine sandy beach strewed with algae, 
a few small pebbles, and some driftwood. Saw a dot- 
terel. I made an excursion for about two miles inland, 
following a watercourse, but did not meet with a single 
ptarmigan, and only shot a male and female Lapland 
finch. The base of the mountains was distant about 
three miles over a level spongy bog, intersected by 

Whilst on shore this evening, one of our boat's crew 
came up to me and volunteered to be one of my own 
boat's crew, in my purposed expedition in search of 
Franklin. His name is Frost, a very appropriate one 


4 iji 

Beating to Windward in Waygatz Strait. 23 

for the service we are going upon. He is an active, 
hardy-looking young fellow, brought up in the coal and 
Baltic trade, and has already been in Hammerfest in 
Lapland. He is a native of Durham. 

The aspect of the hills after leaving Lievely wears 
quite a different appearance. The whole line of the beach 
presents a smooth, white sand, and from this the rocks 
rise of a greyish-yellow colour, a dark greenstone range 
forming the background to the whole. Observed a large 
lake near the beach. Many of the flats and valleys 
presented a green appearance, with mosses and lichens. 
The island of Disco slopes gradually towards the Way- 
gatz Straits, forming a very low and long narrow point, 
extending as far as the eye can reach beyond; and 
above which appears the mountain-range of Greenland 

My own observations of the mountain I ascended the 
other day, on being worked out, gave the height of 2100 
feet, a very close approximation, I believe, to the altitude 
assigned to it by the Danes. 

Saturday^ \2th. — Within the Waygatz Strait, beating 
up against a very strong breeze, cold and biting to the 
fingers' ends. High land on both sides, with some 
remarkable peaks — the same greyish-yellow or pale-brown 
rocks, with the white, sandy beach — appear on this side 
of Disco as on the other; and the remarkable-looking, 
peaked, black mountain in the centre also makes much 
the same on this side, on rounding the first point. 
The strait really forms a curve or bay, but the lower 
half of the land was completely hidden in a stratum of 
mist very dense, and extending to the furthest extremity 
of the strait within sight. On the opposite side, the 
view was terminated by an abrupt black clifif. On the 
right or east side of the strait is a singular-looking, 
round-topped hill which, with some others, forms a cir- 
cular cavity environed by enormous glaciers, and re- 



Voyages of Discovery. 

sembllng a vast crater, probably some 4000 feet above 
the level of the sea, and the highest land in this 
neighbourhood. I took sketches of both sides of the 
strait. At one p.m. a signal was made to go about, 
and give up this dead beat to windward, against which, 
with such a strong breeze blowing, the ships made no 
headway, also orders to rendezvous at Upernivik. 

Saturday, igih. — After standing off and on, tacking 
about all night mid rocks, bergs, and shoals, in a most 
intricate navigation, with a heavy gale blowing in 
fitful violent gusts of wind, coming from ofif the high 
land of Sanderson's Hope, under the shelter of which 
we anchored at two p.m. in twelve or fourteen fathoms, 
on a rocky, bad holding ground, with broken water. 
Not half a cable's length astern of us the sea is breaking 
over a sunken rock, right in our line of drift, but for- 
tunately for us the ship did not drift, although in the 
height of the gale a berg got under weigh, and went 
out to sea with the hawsers we had made fast to it. 

We got down the "crow's nest," and struck topgallant 
masts, pointing the yards to the wind. We had two 
anchors down, and had to wear out cable. In the latter 
part of the evening the furious gusts of wind were accom- 
panied by a thick, drifting snow, almost blinding, and 
bitterly cold. Our situation was a very precarious one, 
on a wild and dangerous coast, surrounded by sunken 
rocks and a group of islands. Saw a Glaucus gull or 
two, and several ducks, looms, and dovekies. 

Upernivik, Northernmost Danish Settlement of Greenland. 


Upernivik — The church— Governor's house — Barter with the natives 
—In Melville Bay— The Resolute nipped by bergs— A cold bath 
—We board the wreck Regalia — A whaling fleet — Grand march of 
the fishermen— Driving the dog-sledges -Visiting the whalers — 
A bear-hunt — On the march. 

Sunday^ June 20th. — I remained on deck all last night. 
The settlement of Upernivik consists of four or five 
houses, or stores, with a small white-fronted chapel on 
the sloping point of a hill near the beach. During the 
first watch eight Esquimaux canoes paddled out of the 
harbour to meet the ships. The rest of the squadron 
parted from the bergs they had made fast to, and drifted 
out to sea in the thick, hazy fog, and were some time in 
regaining their position. At six p.m. a letter-bag was 
made up, by which I sent letters home. 

We have had a boisterous week's passage from Disco, 
the most disagreeable weather since we entered Baffin's 
Bay, mist and sleet, cold, raw, gloomy, and overcast, 
with streams of ice, and numerous icebergs of all shapes 
and dimensions ; at times upwards of a hundred in sight 
at once. The coast of Greenland along which we passed 


Voyages of Discovery. 

presented generally a black aspect, especially Lawson 
Island, which is steep and bold, its black precipitous 
side intersected at intervals, close and regular, by hori- 
zontal reddish-brown lines. Took sketches of these, with 
Storoe Island, the Black Head, Cape Svartekuk, or the 
Black Hook. When beating up for Upernivik, Sander- 
son's Hope conspicuous. 

After breakfast, accompanied by Toms, I landed from 
the dingy at the settlement. Met the Danish Governor, 
surrounded by a whole troop of Esquimaux dogs. He 
asked us into his house, furnished in a very inferior style 
to the Governor of D'sco's. But here, as there, the 
violin was a conspicuous object, hanging against the wall 
with a few small engravings in frames. This governor 
appears to be from the same class as the one at the 
Whale Fish Islands, a mechanic — a cooper, I believe. 
He accompanied us into the church, where it appears 
some eighteen natives attend divine service. The pulpit, 
situated by the wall on the right of the entrance, had on 
either side a row of six benches, or forms, also on the left 
a stove, and at the further end the communion-table, of 
pretty-looking wood, rather handsomely gilded, and 
covered with a very white cloth, bearing on it two large 
candlesticks with tapers, surmounted by a very fair oil- 
painting of the birth of our Saviour, surrounded by a 
group of figures, a cross above the altar, and a semi- 
circular railing enclosing the whole. There was also a 
large figure of the crucifixion on the left, and the walls 
were painted of a bluish colour. A few books were 
arranged near the pulpit. 

From the church I went to the churchyaid, situated 
just above it on the rocks. There were two graves 
distinguished from the rest by being railed in, one, having 
green stakes, containing the remains of the wife of a 
former minister, and the other those of a governor. A 
broken-down head-board pointed out the spot where a 

Scenery in Melville Bay. 


fellow-countryman, a native of South Shields, and seaman 
on board a whaler, found his last resting-place. Several 
piles of stones indicated the graves of E!squimaux. 

We entered a hut of the Danes^ and 1 tried to bargain 
for one of the Esquimaux canoes, but they could not be 
induced to part with one. I exchanged two bottles of 
rum for three pairs of sealskin slippers, and picked up a 
few specimens of the purple saxifrage {Saxifrnga opposi- 
tifolia) in flower, and a few specimens of the rocks. 
These. are much of the same character as at the Whale 
Fish Islands and Disco, only that much more mica enters 
into their composition ; indeed, in some localities giving to 
the soil a bright, sparkling appearance. On returning on 
board I again exchanged two bottles of rum for three 
more pairs of the fur slippers and tobacco-pouches, from 
a canoe alongside, and offered two sovereigns for the 
canoe, which was refused. 

At three p.m. we got under weigh, amid sleet, snow, 
and fog, running the gauntlet amongst numerous bergs, 
stream-ice, and islands on all sides, the squadron keeping 
together by firing guns at intervals ; and when I turned 
in at midnight I saw all the ships winding their way 
through the labyrinth of bergs. On the following day we 
passed Cape Shakleton, of which I took a sketch. 

Thursday, 2\th. — Fine Midsummer Day for these regions. 
Off the Devil's Thumb, Melville Bay, which, with the 
Sugar-Loaf, Three Islands of Baffin, and Cape Shackle- 
ton, being all in sight at the same time, I sketched from 
the deck — the land-floe skirting the shores, with here 
and there a lofty berg towering above it, and standing 
out in strong relief against the black surface of the 
perpendicular cliffs, and outside of the lead of open water, 
through which the squadron were winding their way, lay 
the " pack," a drifting mass of broken-up floes and hum- 
mocks, studded over at intervals with lofty bergs. This 
proved a remarkably line day for seeing the whole line of 



Voyaf^cs of Discovery . 

coast to advantage. The Devil's Thumb in the early 
morning first appeared gradually rising in an isolated 
form like a lofty pillar or tower above the bank of 

Whilst I was standing on the port side of the forecastle 
viewing the grandeur of the surrounding scenery, the 
cheering voice of old Captain Kellett of the Resolute 
came across the water hailing us, and, with his good- 
natured, joking way, addressing myself by " How do you 
do, Sir Robert ? " having, in one of his pleasant humours, 
when I went on board his ship to see him during his 
recent attack of illness, dubbed me, as he said, with 

In the evening all the ships made fast to a floe; and 
I landed upon the floe for the first time, and rambled 
over it for half a mile or so. The dingy was sent for 
me at midnight, the ships having suddenly to cast off 
their hawsers. Two of the Resolute s dogs were left behind 
on the floe to perish. 

Sunday, 2ph. — About two a.m. I was awakened by 
the report of fuses blasting the ice, and upon going on 
deck found that the Resolute had got into a " nip," and 
carried away her rudder ; she was heeling over at a con- 
siderable angle, with hummocks of ice piled up around 
her sides, at the narrow point or angle of the floe, 
where they met in collision, causing enormous pressure. 
The crews of all the ships were busily engaged cutting 
docks in the land-floe with ice-saws in triangles, to secure 
them from the pressure of the surrounding floes. Our 
dock having given way, we had to cut a new one in the 
evening, which occupied some two hours' sawing through 
ice three feet in thickness. Our latitude to-day 75°, and 
longitude 60°, near the Isles of Browne, and between 
Allison's and Melville Bays. 

Monday, 28M. — Saw a fine full-sized bear on the 
floe, his dirty white, cream colour contrasting strongly 

Wreck of the Rcgaiia of Kircaldy. 


with the pure white of the hummocks of ice amongst 
which he was striding along, and which brought out his 
powerful form in striking relief. 

Tuesday, 2gth. — To-day I suggested that the main- 
deck ports should be opened to ventilate the ship, and, 
after some pressure brought to bear upon the " executive," 
it was very sulkily done, when the sudden bursting in of a 
Hood of light and fresh air into my own cabin proved the 
greatest luxury, after above two months' subjection to a 
close, confined atmosphere. After dinner Toms and I 
went upon the floe, taking our guns, but had no sport ; a 
solemn silence reigned around, with scarcely a sign of 
animal life. As we were returning we met Marshall of 
the Assistance, who had been in the year 1840 one of my 
boat's crew when employed in the exploration of Cum- 
berland Bay, Kerguelen's Land, in the opposite hemi- 
sphere ; like us, he was taking a ramble on the floe with 
his gun. 

As I was getting into the dingy to go on board, the 
edge of the ice-floe gave way under p y feet, and immersed 
me in a cold bath up to my waist, and I had to scramble 
over the boat's gunwale, with my heavy fisherman's boots 
on, as best I could. 

Wednesday, ^oth. — This morning we fell in with the 
wreck of the Regalia, whaler, of Kirkcaldy, lying along- 
side of a floe, where she appears to have been destroyed 
by a " nip." At nine a.m. Toms and I walked over the ice 
to the scene of the disaster, about 100 yards from us. 
We went on board of her. The Assistance was made 
fast close to the wreck, and her crew were busily employed 
wrecking. I went on board, and down to the gun-room, 
where I saw an egg of the Arctic gull. From i\iQ Assistance 
1 went on board the Pioneer, her commander. Lieutenant 
Osborne, having sent his boat for me when he saw me 
passing along the floe ; and from her deck I witnessed the 
blowing up of the wreck ; it sank immediately, when casks, 


Mi . 





Voyages of Discovery. 

spars, and other gear kept rising to the surface for some 
time afterwards. The boats of every vessel in the 
squadron were soon on the spot, all scrambling for the 
floating remains of the ill-fated vessel. A number of 
Fulmar petrels {Procellaria glacialis) had collected 
together for their share of the plunder whenever oil and 
blubber came to the surface. Osborne showed me his 
cabin, where I joined him in a glass of wine and ship's 
biscuit ; and a little before noon I returned on board, and 
our boat soon came back with her share of the plunder, 
loading our decks with firewood. A barque, the St. 
Andrews, we had seen some three or four miles distant, 
got under weigh in the afternoon, and stood towards us. 
We learnt from her that the whaling fleet were ahead of 
us, and in the evening we came in sight of them, thirteen 
sail, all ranged together along the edge of the floe, each 
in a dock cut in the ice, but so close together that in the 
distance they appeared a forest of masts rising above the 
icy wilderness around. 

But the most novel spectacle was what followed. 
Their crews had all assembled on the floe, advancing 
along its edge to meet us, with flags flying, and marching 
to the tune of the old Scotch air, "Rob Roy McGregor," 
played by a drummer and two fifers, one dressed in regi- 
mentals, the red jacket conspicuous amongst the motley 
group clothed in blue and drab habiliments, and of all 
ages, from the boy of fourteen or fifteen to the old man 
of sixty and upwards. Amid the throng wa." a sort of 
triangle, and a figure dressed as harlequin in mask and 
cocked hat. There were about thirty colours in all, 
pocket-handkerchiefs included ; one or two, having a star 
in the centre, belonging to an American whaler amongst 
them. They carried a boat over the ice with them, and 
as they passed the leading ships of our squadron gave 
them three cheers, which were again repeated on passing 
us ; continuing onvvard:;, they cheered the Si. Andrews, 

The Whaling Fled move to the Eastzoard three miles. 

whaler, after which they broke up into straggling parties, 
several coming on board of us to see the ship. At 
10.30 p.m. we commenced cutting a dock, which was 
completed about one p.m. I landed upon the floe, and 
walked up to the dock. 

Thursday, July 1st.— The whaling fleet made a move 
to the eastward this morning, with the exception of the 
St. Andrews and a brig lying astern of us in dock. But, 
not finding open water, they soon all came to again, 
about three miles from their former position, which was 
about half a mile distant from us. The St. Andrews was 
decorated by a very gay garland, suspended from her 
main-topgallant stay, which it is customary for whalers 
to hoist on the 1st of May. Our latitude to-day was 75° 9', 
longitude 61° 23' W., our present position near the 
Browne Isles, in Melville Bay. Nothing but level floes, 
about three feet in thickness, around us. But here 
and there, where the floes have met, forming a " nip," a line 
of hummocks are thrown up, and lanes of water open in 
places. Two small bergs alone break the monotony of 
the level white plain, bearing west, and about two or 
three miles on our quarter, and two or three more are 
just visible on the distant horizon, but scarcely a bird to 
be seen flying about. On our port side lies the Intrepid, 
and on the other side of her the St. Andrews, and on our 
starboard side the Resolute, Pioneer, and Assistance ; and 
beyond them the whaling brig. The surgeon of the 
Resolute came on board this forenoon to invite me to 
meet Captain Kellett at dinner, as he was to dine with 
the officers in the gun-room to-day for the first time since 
his illness. 

Friday, 2nd. — Overcast and gloomy, with some fine 
snow. In the afternoon the surgeon of the Resolute came 
alongside with the dog-sledge, to ask me to join him in a 
drive over the floe ; our dogs, consequently, were har- 
nessed with the Resolute's, but they disagreed, and would 






yoya^es 0/ Discovery. 



^ I '1 



not pull together, breaking adrift from the sledge. I then 
harnessed the North Stars three largest dogs to a 
sledge, and drove them myself alone as far as the Reso- 
lute, without any difficulty whatever, in a direct course. 
When Lieutenant Pirn landed on the floe from the Reso- 
lute, I gave up the whip to him, as he wished to try his 
hand with them ; but he could not succeed in getting 
them away from the ship, and after meeting with a 
capsize, he gave it up as hopeless. The surgeon of the 
Resolute having only just before driven his sledge over 
the edge of that ship's dock, we sent them back to the 
ship, and he accompanied me on board the North Star 
to tea, five p.m. ; after which we started, in company 
with Toms, for the whaling fleet. Before we had pro- 
ceeded far, however, Toms, finding his fisherman's boots 
too heavy for the work, gave it up and returned to the 
ship, leaving the surgeon and myself to proceed alone. 

Soon after passing the Anna brig we saw several ivory 
gulls on the edge of the floe, and had to cross a small 
opening or two in the ice before we reached the ships, a 
distance of about three miles from the North Star, which 
we accomplished in about an hour. There were twelve 
vessels in all, two of them brigs, mostly lying two in one 
dock, with their sterns to the floe, and their boats laying 
on it at a short distance. 

The first ship we arrived at was the Princess Charlotte 
of Dundee, next to her the Chieftain of Kircaldy, then 
followed ihePacifc of Aberdeen, Rose of Grimsby, jfane 
of Bo-ness, Alexander of Dundee, Orion of Hull (brig). 
Advice of Dundee, Lord Gambler of Hull, Truelove of 
Hull, Horn of Dundee, and lastly, the American ship, 
McLellen of New London. 

On passing the Advice, Captain Robb, who was stand- 
ing abaft, looking over the stern, spoke to us ; when, 
after a passing remark or two about the state of the ice, 
he offered me a fine skull of the walrus with large tusks, 

Visits to the Ships of the Whaling Fleet. 2)i 

as a specimen ; and it proved rather a heavy one to carry 
a distance of three miles over the floe on my shoulders, 
held in front by the tusks, and I did not get on board 
till after midnight. We also went on board of the Truelove, 
one of the oldest of the ships, and had a long chat with 
her old captain, Parker, who made us take a glass of 
brandy and water with him. We next paid a visit to the 
American McLellen, the last ship in the tier, and had a 
long talk with her young commander. Captain Quayle, in 
bis cabin. Our last visit was to the Pacific^ where we 
remained with old Captain Patterson till eleven p.m., when 
we commerced our return to the squadron. From these 
old whaling captains I learnt that the Governor of Disco's 
name was Maltrop, that he had been a cooper, and of 
Upernivik, Fleishcher. Old Captain Parker told me that 
this should be his last voyage ; he has a jolly, florid face. 
Saturday, ^rd. — Received a note from Commander 
McClintock, inviting me to dine with him on board the 
Intrepid to-morrow, which I accepted. At 6.30 p.m., 
accompanied by Toms and our guns, paid another visit 
to the whaling fleet. Went on board of the Alexander, 
and saw the remains of the narwhal killed this afternoon 
from a boat with their harpoon-gun. Went next on board 
the Facile, to see old Patterson, whose son, a young 
surgeon, had just had a narrow escape from drowning 
when falling between two pieces of ice, losing his gun. 
Lastly, we paid a visit to the Horn, the last ship but one 
in the tier, and her captain, Sturrock, insisted upon our 
going down to his cabin and joining him in a glass of 
brandy and water. He is a fine, jolly, florid-complexioned 
specimen of the seaman, like his brother-captains, Parker 
and Patterson, the whaling veterans, and told us that 
the captain of the Alexander was his son. He promised 
to look out for a bear for me. Saw a captive Arctic gull 
in the stern-windows or ports of the McLcllen, picking at 
the glass in his endeavours to get out. 





Voyages of Discovery. 


HI :l 

Sunday y ^//i.— At three p.m. I walked across the floe to 
the Intrepid^ lying on our port-quarter, and dined with 
McClintock,meetingOsborn, the commander of the/'wwe^^A-, 
and Mecham, the first lieutenant of the Resolute, who, 
with the officers of the schooner, made up our dinner- 
party. McClintock placed me on his right, and Mecham 
on his left hand. A good fire warmed the mess-room, 
and we formed a snug and cosy rdunion'vsx this icy wilder- 
McClintock gave me a specimen of the plumbago 


from the mines of Sanderson's Hope, and showed me 
his herbarium of Polar plants, cabinet of rock-specimens, 
and a Ward's case of ferns. 

About ten p.m., after we had our tea, a bear was reported 
on the floe, and I observed through a telescope from 
the Intrepid' s deck that he was feeding upon something 
on the ice. A boat was at once manned, and shoved off 
in such haste that only two Mini^ rifles were put into 
it, and as McClintock and Mecham each took one, I took 
the helm and steered the boat for the floe, having to haul 
her over a small floe-piece. On reaching the floe on 
which the bear was, we found the distance too great" 
for a shot, and we had to pull round a point of it, 
forcing the boat through a narrow channel, and so made 
a much nearer approach to him. Bruin, nothing daunted 
at being thus circumvented, very coolly and leisurely 
walked towards us to the very edge of the floe, looking 
hard at us all the while, and, sniffing the air, seemed 
much disposed to take the water and not await the attack, 
but make the charge in his own element. If such were his 
intentions Mecham upset them by firing his rifle, but, 
although only about thirty yards from us, the ball did not 
appear to take effect, for the bear made off immediately 
along the floe, but the next shot, fired by McClintock, 
broke the animal's spine, when, dragging his hinder 
extremities after him, he plunged into the water, but 
on finding that he could not swim, regained the floe. 

A Bear shot on the Floe. 


By this time we had all landed, and having no gun 
myself, I snatched up a lance from the bottom of the 
boat, and on reaching Bruin with it, found him stretched 
out at full length on the ice, breathing heavily. As I was 
in the act of plunging my uplifted lance to his heart, 
he suddenly reared himself on his forefeet, and, with a 
fierce expression of eye, made an attempt to spring 
upon me ; but at this critical moment McClintock inter- 
posed, saying that a ball would injure the skin less than a 
thrust from a lance, and he wished to present it to Captain 
Kellett; so Mecham finished the poor brute's sufferings by 
firing at him again, but, although within a few paces, it 
took three more shots from him before this was accom- 
plished, so tenacious of life is this animal. We had next 
to drag him into the boat, and very nearly capsized 
her in getting his ponderous carcase over the gunwale. 
After forcing the boat through some small floe-pieces, 
we got on board again about eleven p.m. On measuring 
the bear we found him to be seven feet in length, and 
539 lbs. in weight. I returned on board the North 
Star about midnight. 

Tuesday, 6th. — Fine day. Walked as far as the 
whalers, accompanied by Toms; went first on board the 
Advice, Captain Robb, to see a narwhal, caught this 
morning, but the tusks, two feet in length, had been taken 
out, and the head destroyed. Asked Robb to dine on 
board with me to-day. I next went on board the Prin- 
cess Charlotte, and invited Captain Deuchers to meet his 
brother-whaler at dinner. I learnt from these two old 
whalers the history of the voyage of the Prince of Wales, 
through Jones' Sound, either by Croker Bay or the Wel- 
lington Strait, into Barrow's Strait, the first land they 
made being Leopold Island, and the discovery of a 
cairn and footprints, as reported by her captain, Lee, and 
supposed, at the time, to have been traces of the Franklin 
Expedition, and consequently of much interest to me, 

D 2 


Voyages of Discovery. 

as the attempt to find out this spot, and test the truth 
of the rumour, forms part of my own programme in the 
forthcoming search. 

Alston, our mate, to-day made an attempt to walk 
over the ice to the nearest land. He started at one, and 
returned on board about seven p.m., but failed in the 
undertaking, as I had anticipated, from his having so 
much underrated the distance. So deceptive are dis- 
tances to the inexperienced eye, amid the waste of ice 
and snow, as there is no middle distance to arrest the 
eye in these regions, an island or cape is often found 
to be double the distance, or even more, than the un- 
aided eye would assign to it. When he got on 
board, thoroughly knocked up, he told me that at his 
farthest the headland he had kept in view so long 
appeared to him " as far off " as when he left the ship. 
I took a sketch of the land to-day. The two whaling 
captains did not come on board to dinner, owing to the 
very uncertain movements of the ice and ships, requiring 
vigilant watching. But five of them — Robb, Deuchers, 
Patterson, and the captains of the Horn and Regalia, 
paid us a visit later in the day, took wine with us, and 
went round the ship. After they had left us in their 
boat, and returned on board their respective ships, we 
all got under weigh together. 

The Arctic squadron and the whaling fleet passing 
along a lane of water in the ice, the North Star got the 
start of the squadron, and stood on with the whalers, 
being the sixth ship in their line, the rest of the 
squadron getting into a " nip." We subsequently passed 
all the whalers, with one exception ; the American ship 
McLelleUy"^ Yankee like," took the lead. The " stars and 
stripes" must ever be in the van. We moved along a lane 
of water, just wide enough for each ship to pass in 
single file along it, and which eventually turned out to 
be only a bight between the floes. Just before we 

Tracking the Ships along the Floe and cutting Docks. 37 

reached the end of it, the Alexander, which had been 
tracking astern of us, passed ahead of us, and we became 
third in the Hne. All the ships, with ourselves, had their 
crews on the floe, tracking them. The various motley 
groups, hauling on their lines, and marching to the time 
of their characteristic whaling songs and ditties, pre- 
sented a most striking and animated scene. The two 
divisions of the ships, in all amounted to nineteen sail, 
ten in our van division, and nine in the rear one. On 
approaching the termination of this lead, the leading 
ships got blocked, and we had to blast the ice round us 
with charges of gunpowder. I went upon the floe to 
the bows of the American, and here we had to cut into 

Early in the morning, after taking a look at the 
fleet from the mizzen-rigging, I walked along the floe to 
the dock the Princess Charlotte was cutting, and had a 
chat on the state of affairs with old Captain Parker of the 
Truelove, and the captain of the late Regalia. It was a 
beautiful bright sunny night, and I remained on the floe 
till four a.m. The ships' companies were still at work, 
cutting their docks ; the Jane of Bo-ness being in the 
same dock as ourselves. 





The Devil's Thumb, Melville Bay. {See pai;e 27.) 


I > 

The il/("Z^//?« nipped - Collision with our ship — Wreck of the McLellen 
— We pursue our track — Magnificent view — Cape York — In the 
open sea once more — We visit a native settlement — Red snow — 
Esquimaux curiosity— Capes Osborn and Croker's Bay — Volunteers 
for my boat expedition— Sight Leopold Island. 

Wednesday, ']th. — This morning, about nine o'clock, 
the McLellen Avas severely " nipped," heeling over at a 
considerable angle, and huge hummocks of ice piled up 
and grinding along her sides. I went on the floe along- 
side of her ; the crew were employed getting everything 
they could out of her upon the ice, and amongst the 
various things, the unhappy Arctic gull I had seen in 
her stern port the other day had fallen into the hands 
of one of the oflicers of the Assistance. The commodore 
made his appearance with a party of marines, four in 
number, and sent them on board the North Star, to be in 
readiness, if needed, to keep order on board the whaler. 
He had also some officers and men with him. 

The unfortunate ship seemed inevitably doomed to 

IVrecJI: of the " McLe/kn" 

destruction. I went on board with her captain, Quayle, 
and old Captain Parker, the commodore of the whaling 
fleet. We went down her hold, where the damage was 
pointed out to me on her beam on the starboard side, 
which bulged inwards from the pressure of the edge of 
the floe without. 1 had a long talk with old Captain 
Kellett, and some of the whaling captains, who were very 
apprehensive for the general safety of their ships. Our 
own people were busily employed in blasting the ice 
around the stern with gunpowder. Ropes were made 
fast between the fore and main tops of the " nipped " 
ship and the hummocks to some distance on the floe, for 
the purpose of heeling her over, whilst the carpenters 
were stopping the leak. She had eight feet of water in 
the hold, and the ice round the ship was seven feet in 
thickness. Her captain, a thorough-bred sailor and fine 
energetic young man, acted most judiciously and coolly 
throughout, first of all starting all the rum to prevent 
all chance of his people getting intoxicated, not altogether 
unusual in such disasters. 

Thursday, 8th. — Weather thick and foggy, with small 
snow and sleet. After breakfast the McLellen drove her 
starboard quarter into our bows, carrying away our star- 
board cathead, and remained for the rest of the day 
resting in close contact with us. I stepped over our bows 
on board of her, and Captain Quayle told me that last 
night he had had great hopes of saving his ship, and had 
even got everything on board again. Every means had 
been resorted to to lessen the effect of the collision 
between the two ships. Our jib-boom was taken on deck, 
and bowsprit gear cleared away ; and on board the 
American, her energetic captain was cutting away his 
mizzen-mast, axe in hand, himself — boats, davits, &c. 
His striking figure, and deeply-bronzed, weather-beaten 
face, and profusion of long, brown, wavy hair, under his 
broad-brimmed sombrero, made him a conspicuous figure 

i! 1 



Voyages of Discovery. 

J 1 1 






^1 i i 

■ 1 '' ' 




on her dismantled deck. Just as I was leaving the 
McLellen, the commodore came on board of her, and 
took possession, hoisting a blue ensign and pennant, and 
commenced getting the stores and provisions out of the 
hold, and on board of us, till our decks were so lumbered 
we had scant room to move about them. Two more of 
the whaling ships, were now included in the " nip " — the 
Pacific and the brig. About noon a heavy southerly gale 
set in ; when I went upon the floe, and from the stern- 
sheets of one of our boats lying there, I took a sketch of 
the wreck, including iheNoftliStar, Jane^ and Alexander^ 
and another vessel, which I finished before dinner, toge- 
ther with another of the boats and stores piled upon the 
ice from the deserted whalers. The weather very thick 
and dismal, and pinching cold to the fingers. After tea, 
I skinned the two little auk I shot. The Alexander is 
drifting on us. 

Friday, gth. — Thick weather, with snow and sleet, but 
a calm after the destructive gale of yesterday, which had 
inaugurated such a scene in the wilderness of ice around 
us as baffled all description, in its tragi-comic picturesque- 
ness. Even I, to whom such wild scenes have been but 
too familiar in the course of an eventful life in the polar 
regions of both hemispheres, can never forget the deep 
impression made upon me by the wild, elemental war 
which raged around us on that memorable day. After 
dinner I again went on board the wreck, and found the 
commodore there. I met Captain Quayle as he was going 
over his ship's side, and invited him to come on board 
the North Star and dine with me on Sunday, which he 

I had a long conversation with his first mate, who told 
me that he had been at the Crozets, and at my old and 
favourite island, Kerguelen's Land, sealing. I took half 
a dozen American biscuits from a cask on deck, as 
mementoes of the wreck. During the first watch the 

^ » 



V ^1 



'U ! 



\ If ! 

: • i I 


• i 1 


' r 



Crew of the " McLellen " bivouac on the Floe. 41 

wrecked crew of the McLellen made a fire on the ice, 
where they bivouacked in front of the Truelove in a most 
disagreeable night, snowing and raining alternately ; a 
most desolate, gipsy scene. 

Sunday, wth. — Fine day. Captain Quayle dined with 
me, also Lieutenant Pirn and the surgeon of the Resolute, 
whom I had asked to meet him. In the course of the 
evening we were joined by the French lieutenant, De 
Bray, of the Resolute, Captain Walker of the Jane, and 
some others. A lovely, bright, sunny night. Captain 
Quayle left about nine p.m., and promised to send me a 
wax figure in furs of the Esquimaux. The McLellen, it 
appears, belongs to Mr. Grinnell, of New York, as chief 
owner. I learnt from Captain Quayle that at the Danish 
settlementof Julian's Hope, near Cape Farewell, the natives 
amounted in number to 2500, many of them having the 
features and hair of Europeans. 

Monday, 12th. — The wreck was scuttled to-day, and 
on the following morning she was fast settling down. 

Tuesday, 20th. — Walked across the floe to the Truelove, 
she is, I believe, the oldest of the whole whaling fleet, 
being ninety years of age. Parker informed me that he 
had met with Esquimaux at Keminsik above six feet in 
height, and weighing above seventeen stone. 

Wednesday, 21st. — Very fine, sunny day. In the after- 
noon the squadron commenced tracking to the northward, 
the Alexander alone accompanying us, and we took her in 
tow. I gave Captain Quayle a farewell shake of the hand 
through my cabin-port in our hurried departure, the ice 
being all in motion, and a dozen or so of the whaling 
ships standing to the southward under a press of canvas. 
The commodore and Captain Kellett, with Commander 
McClintock and Lieutenant Sherrard Osborne, dined on 
board with us to-day. When I left the deck after mid- 
ni; 't we were approaching the wreck of the McLellen, 
w' se black hull just peered above the surface of the ice, 

i ''HI 

h *■ 



U { 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

of which I took a hasty sketch, with the distant view of 
Melville Monument as a background. 

Thursday^ 22nd. — My fifty-second birthday. Showery 
morning, but fine afternoon ; evening foggy. After break- 
fast I saw the wreck astern, and the last of the whaling 
fleet in the distant horizon. The pack much loosened, 
ice honeycombed and fast decaying. Warping through 
narrow, winding channels between the broken-up floes. 
The Alexander still in tow astern, her crew at our 
capstan, warping and tramping to their airs and 

Monday, 26th. — Very fine day. Cut through the narrow 
neck of ice which separated us from the inshore water, 
following a fine, long, open lead in for the land to the 
left of Cape Walker, winding along between two floes 
amid a labynnth of bergs. Immense flights of rotges, 
or little auks, were continually passing us in long streams to 
the southward, always in that direction, and for the most 
part during the night, rarely during the earlier portions of 
the day. Here and there a seal appeared upon the ice. 

About 9.30 p.m. we were arrested by another neck of 
ice, three leagues from the shore, and had to make 
fast to a berg-piece. I walked across the neck of ice for 
about two miles to the northward. The scene here was 
one of the wildest, most sublime, and magnificent I have 
yet beheld in Bafiin's Bay. Jet-black conical rocks, 
capes, and ridges emerging from a vast expanse of 
white, and intermingled with bergs, both large and small, 
skirting the coast-line, some aground and others alloat. 
The background exhibited an immense long line of 
glaciers, extending as far as the eye could reach, in one 
vast, mighty wreath of snow-line banked up against the 
horizon. Cape Walker and Melville Monument appearing 
on the right not far off. The ships having at last made 
their way through the neck of ice, about midnight we 
all returned on board. I remained on deck myself till 

Our Quart crmaslcr, Rands, volunteers for my Boat. 43 

two a.m. Went into the main-top, and from thence 
up to the crosstrees, to have a look at the lead we had just 
entered, when it presented a fine, open view, winding 
amongst both bergs and floes along the land as far as the 
eye could reach. 

Friday y y^th. — This evening Rands, our chief quarter- 
master, volunteered to accompany me in my purposed boat- 
expedition up the Wellington Channel. At eleven p.m. 
the thermometer fell to 28° Fahr., the lowest we have 
yet had it ; and we got out clear of the labyrinth of 

Saturday, 315/. — Cape York bore N. 22° 40', twelve 
miles distant ; got into a large space of open water during 
the first watch, after having got through a narrow neck of 
ice by blasting with gunpowder, at noon. The whole 
aspect of the land is dreary and desolate in the extreme, 
the ravines and hollows between the mountains filled by 
deep snow or glacier, through which the black rocks 
project here and there, and have a very striking effect as 
they peer above the white, snow-clad surface. One 
snowy, cone-shaped peak, inland mountain I sketched. 

Sunday, August 1st. — Fine day. This morning we 
found ourselves in an open sea, with scarcely a bit of ice 
to be seen, having cleared the margin of the pack off 
Cape York, of which, with Bushman Island, I took a 
sketch. A boat was sent on board the Alexander to 
invite Captain Sturrock to dine with us, at my own 
suggestion, before we parted company. Soon afterwards 
we cast off the hawser, and both ships made all sail 
into the bay on the south side of the cape, where a 
group of some seven or eight Esquimaux, with half a score 
of dogs and a small sledge, had come down to the floe- 
edge to meet us. 

The letter-bag, having been closed, was sent on board 
the Resolute, and in the boat 1 took a pa.ssage for the 
shore, about noon. The Intrepid's bow was resting on 


I, ' t 



Voyages of Discovery. 

,m ! " 



the edge of the land floe. Captain Kellett, on the floe, 
bargained with the natives for a small sledge, for which, 
they received from him a couple of planks, a saw, and 
some knives and scissors. The oldest of the natives, the 
" Arctic Highlanders " of Ross, was goodnatured-look- 
ing, and wore goggles, the frames being made of wood ; 
he was accompanied bv another man, and two or three 
boys, all dressed in sealskin jackets and bearskin trousers 
and boots. Although dirty in person, they were all 
very ruddy and healthy-looking. We all walked on to the 
settlement ; amongst the party were Captains Kellett and 
McClintock, with the French lieutenant, De Bray, and 
Nares, mate of the Resolute. Our course over the floe 
was intersected by numerous cracks and pools, frozen 
over. We leaped over some, and slided over others, 
quickly, which were barely thick enough to bear our 
weight for a moment. 

After proceeding for about two miles we reached the 
encampment, consisting of three small sealskin tents, on 
the side of a hill above the floe. All surroundings, as 
usual, of a filthy description ; a small sealskin laid out to 
dry, and the entrails of another with numerous skins of 
the little auk, scattered about. A bitch, with some half- 
dozen pups, lying outside the tents. The rotges were 
very clamorous on the hill- side above, and I at once 
started off across a spongy, moss-covered bog, and up a 
debris of fragments of plutonic rocks, in search of their 
eggs and young, '.ut found neither. But before I had 
got half-way up, the recall was made, and after picking 
up at the highest part of my ascent some of the much- 
celebrated red snow of Sir John Ross, a few specimens 
of the rock-formation and plants, I returned through the 
settlement. The women and children were much amused 
and attracted by a red night-cap I had in my hand, con- 
taining my specimens ; they ran after me, laughing 
and talking most heartily and joyously, feeling my 

' -i! 






o a 

CJ rt 






~ — -,) 

Interview tvith the Arctic Highlanders. 45 

pockets, till after a hurried shake of hands, I took my 
leave of these goodnatured and unsophisticated children 
of nature. 

I overtook Lieutenant Pini, and we walked together 
till we reached the floe-edge, where, since I left her, the 
North Star had made fast. On our way we discussed our 
own somewhat anomalous and difficult positions, held in 
this expedition. About 2.30 p.m. I returned on board, 
where I found the two young Esquimaux boys, fine, 
healthy, lively, intelligent lads, delighted with everything 
they saw, especially amused with an eye-glass I wore 
round my neck, looking through it with excited curiosity, 
at its magnifying power, as did also their brethren on 
shore. I exchanged with the eldest boy one of my 
scalpels he took a fancy to, for one of his rude knives, 
made from an old iron hoop. Toms and I showed them 
our cabins. They, very anxious to obtain wood, pulled 
out one of the cask-staves, &c. The captain of the 
Alexander dined with us. In the evening I took sketches 
of Cape York, Dudley Diggs, and the Crimson Cliffs, only 
a pale pink ravine and patch or two of it, now appearing. 
The white pack margining the horizon all round. 

The modern Esquimaux are supposed to be descended 
from the artistic reindeer hunters. Palaeolithic or ancient 
European cave-men, who were the representatives of 
the Neolithic Age, during the Pleistocene Period, when the 
river-drift men, the oldest race, probably, first appeared, 
towards the close of the Quaternary or Glacial epochs. 

The vast glaciers bounding Melville Bay, which 
are said to be moving at the rate of one hundred 
feet annually, separate this tribe of the pure race of 
Esquimaux from the half-breeds of the Danish settle- 
ments, and having no canoes, all communication is cut 
off between them. Their only mode of travelling is by 
sledge, drawn by a fine breed of dogs, with soft, silky 
hair and very symmetrical forms, though small in size. 







Voyages of Discovery. 

Monday, 2nd. — This evening we were standing over 
in the direction of Jones Sound, with a strong breeze, 
amongst heavy pieces of ice in streams, a thicit fog ob- 
scuring the land ; lost sight of the Alexander. During 
our passage up Lancaster Sound we had a dead beat, 
and did not even get a sight of the southern shore, 
on our way to Beechey Island. We sighted Cape Hors- 
burg, Hope's Monument, Capes Osborn and Warrender, 
with Croker's Bay, and had a fine view of the top of this 
bay, well up it, and most distinctly saw the land " conti- 
nuous " all round, in every direction ; no passage certainly 
exists from it. The remarkable trap-dykes, about four in 
number, intersecting a truncated, conical mountain, with 
a fine specimen of a glacier flowing between the rocks 
to the sea, as shown in the opposite page, appears near 
the entrance to Lancaster Sound. 

Saturday, 'jth. — Rands, our quartermaster, whom I 
have made coxswain of my boat, told me last evening 
that Millikin, one of our most active young able seamen, 
had volunteered for our boat, and that this morning, 
Burns, another able seaman, had offered, and before the 
close of the day three more came forward, completing 
the number for my boat's crew. On the following day, 
Sunday, 8th, I saw the land, on the south side of the 
sound, for the first time, Leopold Island, on port bow, 
table-topped, and terminating in a bluff headland, striated 
here and there with snow. Passed Hobhouse Creek, a 
league and a half from the coast, which is of limestone for- 
mation ; the face of the steep cliffs having a remarkable 
and very symmetrical buttressed appearance, tier above 
tier. I took a sketch of Maxwell Bay, embracing Capes 
Fellfoot, Herschell, and Hurds. Whilst walking the 
quarter-deck with Alston, our mate, during the first watch, 
he renewed his olTer, made once before, to serve under 
my command in my boat-expedition up the Wellington 



Remarkable trap dykes and glacier, Lancaster Sound. {See page 46.) 


Beechey Island — Off Caswall Tower — Cape Riley — A bear chase — A 
cairn and graves — Wellington Channel — We inspect the Mary, left 
by Sir John Ross — I apply for leave to start on my expedition whilst 
the channel is open — The commodore interposes obstacles — My 
plans thwarted — Our ships disperse — My boat ready for starting. 

Monday, gth. — A very fine day ; this morning found us 
off Caswall Tower, in Gascoigne Inlet ; I took a sketch 
of it. About one o'clock a boat was lowered, in which I 
took a passage to land on Cape Riley, accompanied by 
my young friend Toms, for whom I asked a passage. 
On landing we found a mem ^nto in a cylinder, beneath 
a cairn and a staff. Wv. re-embarked and went upon 
the floe which still fills up Erebus and Terror Bay, 
bounded by Cape Riley to the eastward, and Beechey 
Island westward. From this the boat again took us to 
the foot of Cape Riley, and on landing, we at once com- 
menced the ascent of Cape Riley, up the south steep face 
of the cliff, over a loose debris of limestone rock, abound- 

'■ ':iii 


Voyages of Discovery . 




ing in fossils, more especially " producta," of which I 
picked up several fine groups in fragments of the lime- 
stone, and a few specimens of the purple saxifrage, and 
arctic poppy, in bloom. We reached the summit in twenty 
minutes, walked over its flat table top to the opposite 
end, overlooking the bay beneath ; and beyond that 
Wellington Channel quite clear of ice ; what an en- 
couraging prospect this held out to me, could I but then 
have started in my boat without further delay ; but 
unhappily for me this was not to be. We descended 
the mountain nearly at the part from which we made the 
ascent. Walked across the floe to the ship, already 
made fast to the edge of it, and got on board at four 
p.m. to dinner and tea. In the evening I crossed over 
the bay-floe, to the long, low, shingle ridge, dividing 
Erebus and Terror Bay from Union Bay, accompanied by 
all our Esquimaux dogs, whom I could not shake off. 

At seven p.m., when about halfway across, a large 
bear hove in sight, coming from the upper end, and 
galloping along at a rapid rate towards me. I at 
once prepared for action by loading both barrels of my 
old double gun with ball, but on the dogs getting sight 
of him, they started off, in spite of me, in pursuit ; and 
consequently I lost all chance of a shot at him, as he 
immediately made off for the hills on the opposite side 
of the bay, followed by the dogs in full cry, till 1 lost 
sight of them all, over the ridge. Another bear appeared 
near the three graves of Franklin's crew, but he also dis- 
appeared over the ridge to Union Bay. On reaching this 
ridge, I found a bamboo pole above a cairn of fifty empty 
preserved meat canisters, having a tin cylinder attached 
by a piece of weathered white line. I next visited the 
three graves : the headstones were painted in white 
letters on a black ground, all faced the east, the Terror's 
being nearest the bay, and only covered by shingle ; the 
Erebus' s two had over this a few large slabs of limestone. 

Ascent of Beechcy Island above the Graves. 49 

Three boulders of granite were lying near, and one very 
large mass a little higher up on the ridge. The spot 
wore a melancholy, sombre air of utter desolation and 
loneliness. Having by this time gathered my dogs 
around me again, I ascended the steep face of the craggy 
cliff above the graves, by which I was rewarded with a 
fine view of Wellington Channel, quite open and free 
from ice beyond Cape Spencer. After walking for some 
distance along the summit of Beechey Island, I descended 
on the north side, and here I again parted from the dogs, 
who did not return to the ship until some twenty 
minutes after I did, with one exception, and much to his 
credit, my dog Erebus never once left my side through- 
out the whole excursion ; my other dog. Terror, was 
missing for some hours. On my return, I found the 
ship's company employed in cutting a dock, and I got 
on board by means of the bowsprit ladder-rope. At 
about 2.30 p.m. the Resolute and Inti-epid \o\nedi us, and 
I ultimately turned in at three a.m. 

Tuesday 10th. — Fine. Lieutenant Pim came on board 
to ask me to join him in a ramble to Union Bay, to see 
Sir John Ross's decked boat, the Mary, of about twelve 
tons, left by him under Cape Spencer. We took our 
guns, and after passing by the graves and cairn, de- 
scended the embankment of snow to the other side of 
the shingle ridge, into Union Bay. Here we saw the 
enormous footprints of the bear I fell in with last night, 
in the vicinity of the graves. About a mile from the 
ridge, and four miles from the ship, we found the Mary, 
and here we met old Captain Kellett, and two of his 
officers. Lieutenant De Bray, and the master. The mast 
of the yacht was still standing, and we found a few barrels 
of provisions with a memento from old Sir John Ross, 
and my former old boating companion. Lieutenant 

I had a long conversation with Captain Kellett about 



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1^ 1 1 




Voyages of Discovery. 


the expedition, and my own boating voyage, stating to 
him how anxious I was to get away from the ship, up 
the Wellington Channel, whilst there was yet open 
water. But he told me that the commodore had given 
no orders to him whatever on the subject. We walked 
the whole of the way across the floe, back to the ship 
together, and he was very communicative and chatty. 
I learnt from him that my little dog Terror was found 
lying near the graves by one of his ship's company, and 
was brought on board between six and seven o'clock this 

Wednesday^ nth. — I saw a great number of white 
whales pass this morning. On the arrival of the Assistance 
this evening, I at once wrote a letter to the commodore 
as follows : — 

" H.M.S. Nor-th Star, 

" Beechey Island, 

*^ August I ith, 1852. 
" Sir, — I have the honour to inform you that I have 
a boat's crew of volunteers, ready to accompany me in a 
boat and travelling expedition in search of Her Majesty's 
ships Erebus and Terror, under the command of Captain 
Sir John Franklin. 

" I am, sir, 
" Your most obedient, humble servant, 


" Surgeon, R.N. 
" To Captain Sir Edward Belcher, C.B., 
" H.M.S. Assistance, 
" Commanding Arctic Expedition." 

Thursday, \2th. — I had told my marine servant, 
Clark, that it was in contemplation to effect an exchange 
between some of our own crew and those of the other 
ships, for their invalids, and that I had reason to believe he 
would be one of the number. I asked him how it was 

Obstacles raised against my Boat Expedition. 5 1 

that he had not been a volunteer for my boat ; his reply 
was that the first he had heard of it was last night, and 
moreover that he should like to have accompanied me, 
adding, that I might have had the whole ship's com- 
pany, had I needed as many volunteers, to choose from. 
I consequently told him that I would apply for him. 
Duncan, another of our able seamen, volunteered for 
me the other day. 

After breakfast I went on board the Assistance, and 
met the commodore on his quarter-deck, with Captain 
Kellett, and asked him at once what boat I was to have, 
when he replied, " One of the light ones on board of 
us." This I was obliged to object to, as quite unfit for 
the nature of the service I was going upon, for the first 
piece of ice we came in contact with would have crushed 
her like a nutshell. He then said I must have a 
suitable boat, and that on his return on board he would 
arrange about it, and send for me. On my return on 
board my own ship, the ice under my feet giving way 
alongside, I was submerged to the waist, and had to 
change all my clothes, and found that my watch was 
injured by it. This will prove a great loss to me for the 
rest of the voyage. My servant, Clark, told me I had 
another volunteer, an able seaman. Steel. This evening 
I arranged my cabin preparatory to my departure in my 
boat, and did not turn in till midnight. 

Friday, i^tli. — At eight a.m. the commodore sent for 
me, and very insidiously attempted to shake me from my 
purpose in going away this autumn in my boat ; when, 
on finding that I was firm in my resolve, by way of try- 
ing my nerves, he threatened me with calling a council of 
the captains of the squadron to have their opinions Iirst. 
So in about an hour afterwards he sent for me again, 
when I found him with Captain Kellett and the com- 
mander of the North Star, on the quarter-deck of the 
Assistance. Taking us all down to his cabin, he com- 

E 2 

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\ ' 







Voyages of Discovery. 

menced by asking me in an authoritative tone of voice 
what my plan was, at the same time intimating that 
it was his intention to reserve to himself entirely the 
exploration of the Wellington Channel. This I fully 
expected from hmi ; but I was not prepared for what 
followed, even from him, when he endeavoured to make 
it appear to the others that I had, in a former conver- 
sation with himself, on the passage out, expressed a wish 
to confine myself to the search of the sounds at the 
upper part of Baffin's Bay. The truth was, I had had 
no previous conversation whatever with himself on the 
subject. Of course, in the presence of my superior 
officer, I could only reply to this, by a calm negative, 
and that my views had been directed more, especially 
to the Wellington Channel, and that the Hydrographer, 
Sir Francis Beaufort, had himself made arrangements 
for my first searching that quarter and Baring Bay, with 
the view of setting at rest the much-mooted question, as 
to the position of a cairn and footprints, said to have 
been seen by Captain Lee, of the Prince of Wales 
whaler, in the upper portion of Jones Sound. His answer 
to this was that Captain Lee himself had admitted 
before we left England that there was no such thing. 
The discussion, which naturally was by no means of a 
conciliatory character on either side, ended by the com- 
modore giving me a letter, with a request that I would 
give him a written reply — emphatically adding, as I left 
liis cabin, " You cannot go away till the North Star is 
cut into winter quarters." The others present said little, 
and I returned on board my ship, disgusted more and 
more with the proceedings of this ill-omened, ill-starred 

Saturday, \\th. — Fine day. Last evening there was 
a grand champagne supper on board of the Assistance, 
on parting with the rest of the squadron. Her surgeon 
came on board to ask me to join in the revels, which 

ll^rifc to Captain Kellett to alloio me to start. 53 

however, I declined ; and having turned in at eleven 
p.m., I was awoke about midnight by the French officer, 
De Bray, and Groves, one of the mates, coming into 
my cabin with the message from good old Captain 
Kellett, begging me to come over — well meant on his 
part — but the temptation under existing circumstances 
was not strong enough. 

About eight o'clock this evening all hands from the 
ships were piped up to assemble on the floe, when the com- 
modore in the centre of the circle formed gave a parting 
address. But as an oration the failure was complete. He 
read a prayer afterwards from a printed paper, and said, 
he should be glad to shake hands with any one present. 
His entire breach of faith, and generally uncourteous line 
of conduct, pursued towards myself, quite forbade my 
coming forward and offering my hand. I accompanied 
Pim on board the Resolute, who, like myself, did not 
go near the commodore. We sat at the gun-room table, 
chatting with the officers of the Resolute till one bell 
after midnight. De Bray, who sat next to me at table, 
with the clever tact of a Frenchman, took my watch to 
pieces, and put it together again, on the plate before him, 
to ascertain what injury it had received the other day, 
when immersed in the salt water with me, as it had 
stopped ever since ; and after some two hours' examina- 
tion, found a small nut on the plate in the works broken 
off by the corrosion from the salt water, rendering it 
altogether beyond repair out here. 

Sunday, i^th. — Fine day. I made a final effort to get 
away in my boat by writing a letter " on service " to Cap- 
tain Kellett, now senior officer, to induce him if possible to 
give me permission to leave immediately, but he did not 
appear to feel himself justified in departing from the 
commodore's orders only so recently given. This he 
gave me in writing, in order to exonerate me from all 
blame in the delay with my friends at home. 




1 1 In 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

On going on board the Resolute^ he received me with 
his customary kindness, and I had a long chat with his 
officers on deck, by whom I was surrounded, wishing me 
every success in my enterprise. At two p.m. the Resolute, 
with her tender the Intrepid (McClintock), sailed for 
Melville Island, the Assistance and Pioneer (Osborn) 
having proceeded up the Wellington Channel last 

Tuesday, 17///. — I have been all day employed in the 
equipment of my boat, and making a demand for stores, 
provisions, &c., ordering Rand ^ lo muster my boat's 
crew on the quarter-deck, where I explained to thern that 
I had selected them according to their seniority in offer- 
ing themselves as the fairest method, all being equally 
good men, and well adapted for the service. My own 
servant, the marine, was the only exception made. Had 
a sealskin suit, with fur gauntlets, served out to-day, and 
took up two purser's shirts. 

Wednesday, i8th. — Blowing a gale of wind with a fall 
of snow during the night, mantling all the hills with white, 
whilst icicles were suspended from the rigging and spike- 
plank. Weather very squally all day. The party sent 
to bring round the Mary from Union Bay did not return 
with her till four o'clock this morning. I was employed 
all day in completing the equipment of my boat. Nothing 
but the wind being dead ahead and blowing a gale pre- 
vented me from starting this evening, but as nothing 
could possibly have been gained by it, I have deferred 
my departure till to-morrow morning after breakfast. 
The Mary yacht is now lying asterrk,of us. 

Thursday, August \<^th. — I left the North Star at 
eleven a.m., accompanied by Toms and another of our 
messmates, over the floe to my boat, lying alongside of 
the floe-edge, about a quarter of a mile distant. They 
both gave three hearty cheers as I shoved off, which was 
responded to by our people working at the triangles with 


Departu7'e of the " Forlorn Hope.'^ 


ice-saws in cutting a passage for the ship through the 
ice. We returned them three more as hearty from the 
boat, and, hoisting the lug-sail, ran before a fresh breeze 
alongside Lady Franklin's brigantine, the Prince Albert, 
which most opportunely hove in sight just in time for me 
to communicate with her before I departed on an expe- 
dition upon which I had so long set my heart, and gone 
through so much anxiety, and hopes long deferred, to 



i ^'< 

Sir Jol)n Ross's yaclit, llic A/ury, Bcechcy Island. {See faf^e 54.) 



I return tiom the boat experlition - On board the North Star — Ship 
driven a^, ')re — Severe weatlier — IJlasting the ice — Cape Spencer 
— Th« hstof the sun - Set a fox-trap — An Arctic raven — Christmas 
L'a -The old roast beef of England— Letting in 1853 — Hard 
weather and good cheer First sunshine for three months. 

Wednesday, Septemher^th. — f n-turned on board my ship, 
at 8.30 p.m., after an abs«^ce of three weeks, a period of 
stormy, boisterous weather, such as I have rarely en- 
counter(;d. It was one continued succession of heavy 
gales, with scarcely a sight of the sun. On reaching 
Union Bay I landed under Cape Spencer, to give r v 
boat's crew a little refreshment aftcT the toils of the day, 
when a boat under sail — the second gig, in charge of the 
S(!Cond master and five hands- -came from \\\{t North Star 
bduiui up Wfillington Channel, with a cache of provisions 
to be deposited at Cape (Jsborne for th(; use of the spring 
.sledging parties. I caution<;d him not to attempt to 
proceed further than ririnin's Hay, or Ik; would run a 
great risk of losing his boat, ;is 1 had myself remamed 
till the very latest moment the advanced season and 
formation of young ice would permit of. 















n i 


" North Star'' driven on Shore by the Floe. 57 

Indeed, he returned at six p.m. on the 13th, unable 
even to reach Griffin Bay, and had to deposit his cache 
on this side of Cape Bowden, from the rough weather and 
ice he met with. On returning on board, which 1 did 
through the narrow strait betweer. Erebus and Terror and 
Union Bays, which had opened sii;ce my departure, I 
found my shipmates all on deck to receive us, the gun- 
room steward having sounded his bugle as we neared the 
ship, and Avhich I answered by firing off my gun. After 
going down to the gun-room, and having had a shave, 
wash, and a cup of tea, I retired to my cabin to read two 
letters from home, and one from my good friend John 
Barrow of the Admiralty, enclosing me the last " Navy 
List," and which were put into my hands by Toms. The 
Isabel, Captain Inglefield, had only left at three o'clock 
this morning for Engla id, having on board my old ship- 
mate and friend at both the Poles, Abernethy. 

Tuesday, 28th. — Ushered in an evcnlful night for us, 
a large quantity of heavy ice off the entrance to the 
bay, drifted in with an equinoctial gale from the south- 
ward. During the first watch some heavy floe-pieces 
struck the ship with a loud, grating noise, as they swept 
along her sides. The cable surging heavily, the anchor 
dragged, and she drove on shore, but fortunately took 
the ground easily, on a soft bottom at eleven p.m. The 
evening had been beautifully fine, with a full moon, and 
consequently spring-tide^ and nearly high water. The 
ship heeled over at a considerable angle, rendering it very 
difficult to walk the deck. The whole bay became filled 
with ice, and one extensive floe-piece had driven us on 
shore in from twelve to fourteen fathoms. 

This was one of those untoward events I had myself 
long anticipated, and had repeatedly called attention to, 
in consequence of the position the ship had been so in- 
judiciously placed in, by anchoring her in the very line of 
drift which the ice would follow in either its ingress or 





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Voyages of Discovery. 

egress from the bay, and added to this, a strong current 
sets through the narrow strait dividing it from Union Bay,, 
disturbing the formation of the young ice, and thus 
keeping the bay open late in the season. 

The only secure anchorage, and there the ship would 
have been as safe as in a dock, was much higher up, near 
the top of the bay, under the shelter of the high land above 
the graves, in the vicinity of what was doubtless the 
Franklin encampment, and the position of the Erebus 
and Terror when they wintered here. This would not 
have escaped the observation of such an experienced 
seaman and navigator as the immortal Franklin, being 
quite out of the line of drift. 

Finding that the old ship settled herself quietly down 
on the soft bottom, and the worst having happened, for, 
as I before said, the event was one far from being 
unexpected by myself, I turned into my berth at about 
two a.m. 

Wednesday, 29///. — Blowing a hard, southerly gale all 
day, and at intervals in very heavy gusts, accompanied by 
small, drifting snow, and a thick mist obscuring all sur- 
ro'-nding objects, and the bay filled with ice. The ship 
last night had righted during the rise of the tide, to fall 
again to her bearings at low water, hcuing only six feet 
of water alongside. We could not move about the decks 
without the aid of " life lines " and battens across. The 
poor dog'^ came off from Beechey Island to-day, half 
starved, and perishing with the cold. 

Saturday, October 2nd. — Upon going on deck this 
«K>rning, a dismal prospect met the eye on all sides, 
snow falling fast in large flakes, a thick mist surrounding 
all, and shrouding every object in obs-urity. The deep 
snow which had fallen during the night covered the 
decks and rigging. The ship down to her bearings on 
the bank of shingle, at an angle of about 25°, beset all 
round with ice and snow, and winter fast closing in, con- 

Temperature of my Cabin at Zero. 


slituted anything but a cheering prospective. The cabins 
on the port-side are now scarcely habitable, with the 
thermometer at zero ; in my own, the vapour freezing 
in crystallized masses on the heads of the metallic bolts, 
and the toes and fingers felt as benumbed and pinched 
as if I had been sitting on the upper deck, the " Sylvestre 
stove" ceasing altogether to act on my side of the ship, 
and transmitting all its heat along the opposite or star- 
board side, being so much elevated above the other; so 
that, in short, we have an Arctic climate on the one side, 
and a sub-tropical one on the other. My only hope is 
that as the ice continues to form and becomes thicker 
under her bottom, it will gradually raise her up ultimately, 
upon an even keel, which will have the effect of bringing 
about an equilibrium of heat from the vSylvestre, and a 
horizontal position to the decks to move upon. 

Sunday, loth. — Overcast and cloudy, but fine calm 
day induced me, accompanied by Toms, to walk over the 
floe to the cairn and the graves, from which we ascended 
to the summit of Beechey Island, by the snowy ravine 
just above the graves, and continued our walk across 
the whole length of the island to the frowning precipice 
overhanging the entrance to the berg, proceeding from 
west to east, having Cape Riley opposite to us. We 
descended the steep face of the cliff by sliding down a 
bank of snow just opposite the ship, and got on board 
at our dinner hour, two p.m. 

Friday, \^th. — Ever since the ship has been ashore, 
I have continued to sleep in my cabin, but almost frozen 
into an icicle at times, the atmosphere of it as chilly as 
an underground vault, and more resembling a frozen 
cave than anything else. Poor Alston, my next neigh- 
bour, decamped from his den to the starboard side for 
the benefit of the Sylvestre, but Toms, whose cabin was 
next to his, like myself held on to the last. 

Monday, \%th. — Crew employed as usual on the ice 







Voyages of Discovery, 

outside the ship, cutting and blasting the floe under the 
starboard quarter, now a new freak, amongst the varied 
vacillating and impotent manoeuvres that have been in 
progress for some time past for getting the old craft 
afloat again ; and but for the strength of her doubling, 
one of the heavy charges of gunpowder exploded right 
under her counter, might well have blown the timbers of 
her stern-frame out of her. It all but capsized me, chair 
and all, as I was seated in the gun-room, and set all the 
crockery ware dancing a hornpipe on the sideboard ; 
her entire hull was shaken from stem to stern. The 
whole might have been viewed as a mere ludicrous farce, 
but for the inconsiderate exposure of the unlucky crew — 
almost daily when possible — in this inclement season of 
the year to intense cold and fatigue, till darkness put a 
stop to their disheartening labours, for the ship's position 
has not been benefitted an inch, a position such as ship 
never before wintered in, in these regions. The melan- 
choly moaning of the poor famishing Esquimaux dogs 
was in keeping with the whole, and formed a climax 
to it. 

Saturday, 2^rd. — The finest day we have had this 
month, and I took advantage of it to make an excur- 
sion to the summit of Cape Spencer. Starting at ten 
a.m., I crossed over the floe to Union Bay, ascended the 
highest part of the cape ; walked over its flat top, to- 
wards Wellington Strait — affording me a fine prospect of 
Cornwallis Land and North Somerset, with the channel 
between them frozen over. Large boulders of reddish- 
coloured granite were strewed over the plain surface of the 
summit. On my return, I visited the cairn at the bluff-end 
of the ridge, overlooking Erebus and Terror Bay. It is 
about seven feet in height, and on the very edge of the. 
cliff. Here I descended by a remarkable block of lime- 
stone, projecting abruptly from the face of the cliff. 
This excursion occupied me five hours. 

Tlu last Sight of the Sun. 


Sunday^ November 'jth. — When on the floe, near 
Northumberland House, I had a last sight of the sun for 
this season, only half of its disk now appearing above 
the horizon, which was clear of clouds, and a fresh 
breeze blowing at the time. The thermometer 20° 
below zero. I had both my cheeks and chin, with the 
right ear, frost-bitten. The skin felt rough, elevated, 
corrugated, and hard, giving a homy sensation to the 
touch. I at once rubbed the parts with snow, and on 
my return on board the face became swollen, with a cir- 
cumscribed redness on each cheek, and sensation at- 
tendant on a bu In the evening the surface rose in a 
blister, with serum beneath, followed by desquamation of 
the cuticle, but unattended with much reaction or pain. 
I attributed this sudden attack to my having incautiously, 
and with too much confidence in former habits of expo- 
sure, gone at once out of the gun-room, fron. a tempera- 
ture of 50° above zero to 20° below it, without any 
additional covering either to neck or face, having only 
my regulation cap on the crown of my head, and this 
proved too much for the skin to resist ; and I thus, on 
the very day that the sun took leave of us, got frost- 
bitten in remembrance of it. 

Friday 12th. — During the first watch I saw the aurora 
for the first time this winter, in the form of two pale 
yellow rays, passing a little to the westward of Ursa 
Major. Our people employed in banking up snow round 
the ship's sides, in cold and wet, out of fear and appre- 
hension that the ship might fall over on the starboard 
side at the next high tide ; because the ice around 
cracks and grinds somewhat loudly during the expansion 
in the process of congelation. 

Tuesday, i6th. — As I had all along foreseen from the 
very first, the ship, from the gradual accumulation of ice 
beneath her keel, has now attained her normal upright 
position. Her sides, housing, spars, and rigging all 






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Voyages of Discovery. 

white with the covering of ice and snow. The"Sylvestre" 
stove now acting equally on either side. 

Sunday, 2\st. — To-day I found the tip of my right 
ear painful on exposure to the wind on deck, although a 
fortnight has elapsed since I was frost-bitten. The new 
skin had formed on the face last Sunday, but the redness 
and scar, from its repeatedly peeling off, had not dis- 
appeared until to-day. 

Tuesday, 2^rd. — To-day I set my first fox-trap on the 
floe beneath Cape Spencer, taking it there on a sledge 
drawn by four of the ship's dogs. I baited it with the 
remains of the young gull which died on board, and a 
piece of preserved meat. On the following day, Wed- 
nesday, 24th, when visiting my trap, I heard the hoarse 
croak of raven distinctly several times, but it was yet 
too dark for me to see the bird, whose melancholy cry 
broke so strangely on the death-like stillness and solitude 
of these wastes of snow and scenes of desolation around 
On reaching the base of the precipitous crags of 


Beechey Island, however, the sable and sombre-looking 
bird itself appeared, its black plumage shining with a 
metallic lustre, in strong relief against the pure white of 
the snow, as it rose from the rocks. I had my gun with 
me, but " Ralpho " was far too wary to permit me to 
get within shot of him. 

I resolved now to complete the circuit of the island, 
which I had not hitherto accomplished. The cliffs 
around me for the most part steep and precipitous, the 
snow forming angular-shaped masses at their bases ; 
tht floe outside very hummocky, and covered with deep 
snow. When about halfway round, I found the ice 
forced up under great pressure, in some places to the 
height of from thirty to forty feet, and the snow in the 
hollows between, waist-deep, and so soft as to render 
the progression over it extremely fatiguing. I had got 
through about two-thirds of the circumference before 

My first Ciraiit of Bccchcy Island, 


Cape Riley opened, and passing round the perpendicular, 
steep bluff-head forming the west side of Erebus and 
Terror Bay, I returned on board at two p.m., having 
started at nine a.m., and must have gone over, at the 
least, some half-score miles of ice and snow. The 
thermometer ranging at about zero. 

This excursion round Beechey Island subsequently 
became a favourite one with me during the winter months, 
and when walking round without any stoppages or delays, 
I usually accomplished it in about two hours, so that the 
entire distance round may be fairly estimated at seven or 
eight miles. 

Thursday ^ December 2//fl'.— Fine day; thermometer 
31° below zero. I left the ship at noon, accompanied by 
my dog Erebus, on a visit to my fox-trap, which I had 
removed from Cape Spencer to the west end of Beechey 
Island. On approaching the trap, I noticed that the 
door was down, and on reaching it heard the low, 
gruff bark of poor white reynard, who had been caught 
since my visit to the trap yesterday. On opening the 
lid, he made an attempt to bite me, but my stout fur 
gauntlet saved my hand from his sharp teeth. Hauling 
him out, I soon put an end to his hopes and fears by 
pressure in the region of the heart. He was a male, and 
by far the finest fellow as yet caught, weighing eight 
pounds. I skinned him the same evening, and gave 
Erebus the carcase next day, on revisiting my trap, a 
walk of two miles. 

Tuesday, ^th. — Blowing fresh, with thick weather ; 
revisited my trap ; thermometer at zero. Accompanied 
by Erebus ; found another fox, with marks of age, in the 

Saturday^ 25///. — A fine Christmas Day. I took my 
now customary walk round Beechey Island before dinner 
with Erebus, going out by Union Bay, and met Toms 
near my fox- trap, who had come in the opposite direc- 




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■JO *^^" MI^^B 

•^ 1^ 12.2 













(716) 872-4503 









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Voyages of Discovery. 

tion. We returned together just in time for dinner ; 
roast beef, kept since we left England, a boiled leg of 
mutton, and a goose, the latter none the better for keeping 
so long, followed by the orthodox plum>pudding, and a 
glass of ale. 

Before I retired to rest, I went over the ship's side 
upon the floe, and found a bright full moon shedding its 
soft light over the floe, from a clear blue sky ; night 
calm and milder. Within the Arctic Circle the moon 
neither rises or sets ; for ten days together shining con- 
tinually as it ci: :les round the horizon — in some measure 
making up for the absence of the greater luminary, the 
sun, during the long, dark winter's night. 

Sunday^ 26th. — Another fine, calm, clear day. There 
was an eclipse of the moon before I was up this morn- 
ing, consequently I missed seeing it. Accompanied by 
Toms, I visited my trap round Beechey Point, and we had 
but just passed the iT/f/rv yacht, returning, when I noticed 
my dog Erebus scrambling down the angular slope of 
snow reclining on the base of the cliff, with something 
in his mouth, rnd on my making a signal to him, he 
dropped it at bis feet, standing over it till I got up to 
him, when I found a fine ptarmigan, in its pure white winter 
plumage, killed, but otherwise not in the least injured 
for a specimen. Any of the other dogs would have de- 
voured it instanter, in spite of my presence. It was a 
solitary bird, no trace of any others. I still have it in 
my collection, with my poor old dog himself, but, alas ! 
it is only his inanimate stuffed form. 

Friday^ ^\st. — The last day of the old year is now 
closing in upon us, and I took my favourite w'lk round 
Beechey Island before dinner, accompanied by my faith- 
ful Esquimaux companion, Erebus, proceeding by the 
Union Bay ridge. Baited my fox-trap afresh, as I passed 
it in mid-distance. About halfway round the island, met 
Toms at his trap, and we returned together, passing by 


New Years Day and severe Weather. 


the Mary yacht. He found in the stomach of his fox he 
skinned to-day some feathers of the very gull I had baited 
my own trap with, a striking evidence of his being the 
identical animal caught in my trap, and had eaten his 
way out, as I had discovered by the damage done to my 
trap ; he had afterwards entered that of Toms. At mid- 
night the bugle and violin were being played at the gun- 
room door. I went on the floe afterwards to have a look 
at the night, which was misty and overcast, before I 
turned in at two a.m., and now commences a New Year 
in our monotonous life. 

Saturday, January \st, 1853. — The New Year has 
opened upon us with the severest weather we have hitherto 
experienced, blowing a hard, southerly gale, misty, and 
overcast, with snow-drift. I gave my two dogs, Erebus 
and Terror, the Arctic fox for their New Year's 

To cheer their spirits under the depressing influences 
existing in our little community, I gave to Rands, the 
late coxswain of my boat, a bottle of port wine, as he 
does not drink spirits, and a bottle of brandy for him to 
distribute amongst our boat's crew, and another of rum 
for four others who had been early volunteers for my 
expedition ; a second bottle of rum to Harvey, our old 
boatswain's mate, to be shared by three other old Polar 
hands — the armourer and sailmaker, with Page, the old 
quartermaster, and the dog-keeper, who looks after my 
two dogs. All these were trustworthy, steady, temperate 
men I could rely upon to make a proper use of such a 
welcome addition to their enjoyment of the festivities of a 
season never to be forgotten by us mortals. These 
men, I knew well, would share everything with their 
messes. I closed the day by looking over the Arctic 
blue-books, as an evening's amusement, till I turned in at 

Tuesday, ^th. — Temperature fallen to 42° below zero. 



Voyages of Discovery. 

I I 

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At eleven a.m. I visited my fox-trap, ard here I made 
the attempt to scale the steep cliff immediately above it, 
but after much laborious exertion, on attaining the first 
gap, and surmounting a steep, overhanging crag, I unex- 
pectedly found another steeper ridge of snow above this. 
This, too, after some risk of being hurled to the bottom 
headlong by the slightest false step, I, by a great effort 
gained the crest of this crag also ; but here, being com- 
pelled to take off my gauntlets^ the better to grasp the 
projecting point of rock to hold on by in such a precarious 
foothold, my naked hands lost all sensation, my gun 
slipped from my grasp down the declivity, and on casting 
a glance upwards, the acclivity still above me appeared 
steeper even than the one I had just surmounted, and as 
from my position I could not see the summit, I followed 
the course of my gun, and on picking it up slipped down- 
wards for some paces, but fortunately my fall was 
arrested by a projecting crag of the gap, which I laid 
hold of, and from thence beat steps in the hard, frozen 
snow with the butt end of my gun to the bottom. On 
replacing my gauntlets, I found all the finger-ends of 
both hands smartly frost-bitten, in the brief space of 
the minute or two they were bare ; skin white and 
hard, with a burning sensation, followed in the evening 
by large blisters filled with serum. 

My faithful dog Erebus, who followed, or rather pre- 
ceded, me to the highest portion I attained in the ascent, 
though very reluctantly, apparently, with more foresight 
than his master as to the practicability of the attempt, 
made a rapid descent before me, whining and exhibiting 
marked symptoms of impatience and dissatisfaction — in 
short, unmistakably rebuking me. Found Toms at his 
trap, and we returned together over the shingle ridge and 
bay floe on board. 

Tuesday, wth. — I walked round Beechey Island, now 
become almost a daily routine with me. The thermometer 

Three hours exposure to a temperature 51° below zero. 67 

fallen to 5 1° below zero, but being a fine, calm day, without 
feeling any unpleasant effects from it, notwithstanding, 
I was three hours absent from the ship, exposed to this 
very low temperature. I shifted my fox- trap to the 
low slope where Beechey Island is ascended from the 
south. My dog Erebus seemed to suffer in his feet, 
having frequently to roll himself in the snow-drift to 
restore animation ; and I felt it pinching to the hands if I 
took off my gloves only for a few seconds. The con- 
tinuous loud cracking of the floes to-day resembled the 
sound produced by striking a hollow, metallic globe. 

Thursday, 20///. — The anniversary of the fearful 
gale we encountered in the Erebus in the vast pack in the 
Antarctic seas in the year 1842. I left the ship to pay a 
visit to my fox-trap at ten a.m., accompanied by my two 
dogs. It was a boisterous day, blowing in heavy squalls, 
with a blinding snow-drift. I had put on my sealskin 
dress, jacket, trowsers, cap, helmet, and gloves, or 
gauntlets, for the first time during the voyage, and my 
dogs, noticing the change, capered round me, delighted 
beyond anything with the metamorphosis I had under- 
gone, thinking, I suppose, that I had turned into an 

After clearing the snow out of my trap, I walked from 
the end of the shingle spit round the top of the bay, 
accompanied only by Erebus, Terror having left me, 
a by no means unusual occurrence with her. When I 
reached the second ravine, opposite to the ship, so thick 
was the mist and fine snow-drift, that I could neither see 
the ship nor Beechey Island, the moon appearing only 
faintly through the fog over the ridge. My sagacious 
dog, Erebus, showed much impatience with the drift in 
his eyes as he headed to windward, every now and then 
turning round at intervals to watch and direct my steps 
towards the ship, of which, though invisible to both of 
us, he evidently recognized the position better than I did. 

F 2 


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Voyages of Discovery. 

Wednesday, February 2nd. — As I had anticipated that 
possibly, according to the laws of refraction, the sun might 
make its appearance above the horizon to-day, I started 
from the ship at eleven a.m., accompanied by my almost 
constant companion, Erebus, and a messmate, for the 
summit of Beechey Island, ascending by the snowy pass 
above the graves. On reaching the south side of the 
island, the glorious orb of day appeared for the first time 
for the last three months, refraction having brought its 
disk above the hills of North Somerset, on the opposite 
side of Barrow's Strait. 

I first observed what appeared like the gilded margin 
of a cloud, from which the upper limb of the sun soon 
emerged. This was about the hour of noon ; the sur- 
rounding horizon was suffused with a reddish light, and 
there was also the same pink-coloured aurora flush in the 
light clouds to the north as seen yesterday. 

We descended to the floe on the south side, proceed- 
ing round the western extremity of the island by my fox- 
trap, and did not get on board till 2.15 p.m. 

On the following days, for four mornings in succession, 
I again each time witnessed the sun's rise from the top 
of Beechey Island ; the last time the whole disk was 
plainly visible and distinct above the horizon. During the 
remainder of the month, and until near the middle of the 
next, little worth recording transpired. 

lil . 

Bold licad'and, south side Hcechey Island, with fox-trap. (Seepage 6j.) 


Lost in the snowdrift — Excursion to Caswall's Tower — Our frozen 
sherry — Losing our way — The dogs give in — I dig a trench in the 
snow — We lie down and spend the night in it — All right in the 
morning — Search parties despatched after us. 

Saturday, March \2tlt. — Ptarmigan having been seen on 
the floe, after breakfast, at 9.30 a.m., I started on an 
excursion across the snow-clad plain, in the direction of 
Caswall's Tower, accompanied by my two Esquimaux 
dogs, Erebus and Terror, with my old and almost 
constant companion, the double-barrelled gun, which I 
had with me both in Parry's attempt to reach ^he North 
Pole, and Ross's to reach the South one. Meeting acci- 
dentally my young friend Toms on the floe, he volunteered 
to accompany me, and we consequently started together ; 
the morning most promising, a bright sun in a clear, 



/ 'oyagcs of Disiovety. 

blue sky, with a light air from the east, so mild at the 
time that, notwithstanding the month of March in this 
high latitude is very generally considered, and I think 
justly so, the coldest month in the year, I left the ship 
m my ordinary light daily dress. 

We struck across the floe for the north shore of the 
bay, after crossing some of Franklin's sledge-tracks, all 
in the direction of Caswall's Tower, and from their still 
very strongly-marked and distinct appearance after such 
a lapse of time, they must have been made when the soil 
was in a plastic condition for receiving impressions. We 
continued our course along the wide, open space, or level 
flat of snow, extending like a bay floe between the ridge 
of hills on the north and the Cape Riley ridge on the 
south. During summer it is interspersed with the lakes 
and a sparse vegetation, but now it is an entire waste of 

When we had got within some two miles or so of Cas- 
wall's Tower, we came upon the first appearance of shingle 
ridges, so low as to be only just perceptible above the 
snow. Here a pair of the ptarmigan caught my eye, 
standing on one of these ridges, with outstretched necks 
of ivory white, and the black row of feathers in the tail 
strikingly conspicuous in contrast with the whiteness of 
their plumage and still whiter snow. My dogs, however, 
alarmed them, and Terror, so unlike her staid brother 
Erebus, never under control, ran towards them, heed- 
less of my call to check her ; consequently both birds 
took wing when at seventy or eighty yards distance from 
us, skimming along the surface of the ground, a slight 
unevenness of which prevented us from marking them 
down. On reaching the sloping ridge at the base of 
Caswall's Tower, we came upon some of their droppings 
and the leaf-buds of small plants plucked off by them, 
lying on the snow. 

This tower, named by Parry, forms a remarkable ami- 

Excursion to Castvalts Tower. 


nence above Gascoigne Inlet and Radstock Bay, rising 
above the heads of both to an altitude of some 300 feet ; 
inaccessible on all sides but the north, and even on that 
side most difficult of ascent, more especially at this 
season of the year, the bands of snow on its acclivity being 
frozen so hard as to resist all attempts at hammering 
out steps with the butt-end of my gun ; but just as Toms 
and I had succeeded in climbing up about one-third of 
the ascent, a fog bank appeared rising in the east, threat- 
ening soon to overwhelm us, and compelling us at once 
to relinquish all further attempts, although, had the 
weather continued favourable, I am satisfied we could 
have reached the summit. My dogs, who were in advance 
of us, had disappeared for some minutes, and had doubt- 
less succeeded, and were rambling round the top when I 
made their recall. 

At the base we rested for a few minutes on a large, 
square block of limestone, to feed the dogs, having 
brought with me a paper bag full of scraps in my 
pocket for their dinner. My companion took from his 
pocket a small^ flask of sherry, frozen, notwithstanding 
the warm position of his breast-pocket, to the consis- 
tence of thick honey, too solid to partake of it in any 
other way than as a lozenge, after breaking the bottle 
to come at it. A tongue sandwich he also produced 
was frozen as hard as the rock we were seated upon, 
and had about as much flavour in the mouth. This 
slight and hasty repast being finished, we lost no time 
in commencing our retreat for the ship, which I estimated 
to be at least ten miles distant. Unfortunately, I had 
neither compass nor watch with me — my watch, as I have 
already related, had been damaged, and as my compass 
was large enough to be cumbersome, I thought I should 
not need it to-day, being so well acquainted with the 

We had not, however, proceeded far on our return 


Voyages of Discovery. 


journey, when the fog became so thick that we could no 
longer distinguish one portion of the land from another, 
and after rambling for some time as to our course, a 
dark, bluff headland peered very indistinctly through the 
mist on our left. Toms took it for Cape Riley, but no 
such luck for us, for I well knew we could not have 
proceeded to anything like the distance that could 
have brought that cape in sight. Besides, another 
bluff, dark headland appeared through the fog on the 
right, so unlike any land opposite to Cape Riley. I 
could therefore only come to the conclusion that, in the 
absence of anythmg to guide our wandering steps, we 
had got out of our proper course, and been making 
one of those circles so commonly knov/n to occur to 
those bewildered in the intricacies of a vood, without 
any known object to guide them. 

It now flashed upon me that we had really gone off 
at right angles to our course into Gascoigm; Inlet, for, 
from my own long experience in icy regions, I became 
aware that the sensation to my feet at every step I set 
was not that produced by terra firma beneath them, but 
from a substratum of water beneath the surface of the 
hard, frozen snow in which I was treading, and I was 
soon convinced of this by coming upon cracks and 
fissures in the floe occasioned by unequal pressure and 
expansion, which at once removed all doubts. In fact, 
we were crossing the floe of the inlet, and the insulated 
mass of black rock looming in the fog on our left was 
no other than Caswall's Tower itself, and the projecting 
bluff on the right, the western headland of Gascoigne 

Under these circumstances, I resolved to take a fresh 
departure from Caswall's Tower, and we retraced our 
steps to the very slab of stone at its base on which we 
had so recently been seated. From this spot I took a 
careful survey of the bearings of the land around, as a 

Ikwildered in a dense Fo^. 


temporary lifting of the fog permitted me, when we once 
more recommenced our homeward route. For safety, I 
thought at first of gaining the north shore and keeping 
close to the base of the range of hills till we were oppo- 
site to the ship, but as this would have added at least 
two or three miles to the distance, with night fast closing 
in upon us, I determined to keftp the middle course of 
the wide snow-clad plain, as I could still, although very 
indistinctly, keep the land in sight on either side. 

Near the zenith, the fog somewhat thinning of?, the Great 
Bear and the Pole Star becoming visible, encouraged me 
to continue onwards, shaping my course by the Star 
of the Pole, which had a position overhead on my right 
shoulder. This remarkable star, in the constellation of 
the Little Bear, had for me so many interesting associa- 
tions of the past. When in Parry's attempt to reach the 
Pole, the crew at the capstan-bars used to keep time as 
they moved round in a circle on board the Hecla in 
weighing anchor, to the chorus of — 

" See the North Star glimmering, boys, time for us to go ; 
Time for us to go, boys ; time for us to go." 

This bright star of the second magnitude, only now 
situated about a degree from the Pole of the heavens, 
has not always been the Pole Star, neither will it always 
continue to be so, owing to the precession of the 
equinoxes, a conical movement of the axis of that Pole, 
the equinox undergoing a retrograde motion by which it 
accomplishes an entire revolution in the terrestrial orbit, 
in round numbers in about 26,000 years, always return- 
ing to its initial position ; so that in some 1 2,ocx) years 
hence, that fine brilliant star, Vega, of the first magni- 
tude, in the constellation of Lyra, will eventually become 
the future Pole Star. And another bright and beautiful 
star, also of the first magnitude, Canopus, will become 
the South Pole Star, in the opposite hemisphere. Whilst 




Voyages of Discovery. 

the Pole Star was visible, guided by it, we could shape 
our course correctly enough for the ship, but before we 
had got halfway across ihis desolate wilderness of snow, 
perhaps some four miles or so from Caswall's Tower, the 
fog had enveloped all around, completely shutting out 
from our view land and star alike, and so suddenly that 
I had barely time to throw my gun down with its muzzle 
pointing i.i the direction of the ship, so to get a rough 
bearing of our position, ere the friendly star disappeared 
entirely from our sight, leaving us in a bewildering 
gloom of fog and darkness intermingled, in a death-like 
silence, with not so much as a rock or hummock of ice to 
shelter us from the piercing blast and blinding snow-drift. 

My two poor dogs had already given in, by repeatedly 
falling down across each other in a stupor and torpor, 
from which I had every now and then to rouse them, and 
drag them by the nape of the neck with sheer force from 
the spot where they had nestled down in the snowdrift, 
often having to retrace my steps for some distance in search 
of them, after every call had been unheeded ; my worthy 
companion, Toms, standing in the same position in which 
I left him till my return to the spot with the dogs, 
guided to it by his voice as I dragged both the helpless 
creatures a dead weight back. 

However, he too began, it was too evident, to foel the 
combined effects of extreme cold, fatigue, and toil telling 
upon him, which his altered voice, hoarse and half- 
uttered sentences, proclaimed ; yet he displayed a spirit 
and power of endurance scarcely to have been expected 
in one so young and inexperienced in scenes like this. 
In the thickest of the fog, I had no small difficulty in 
getting him to take my arm, to keep us together. 

With the disappearance of the North Star, so dis- 
appeared also all our hopes of reaching the ship. The 
only resource left us was to prepare for the tempestuous 
night brewing up as best we might, and not risk losing 

Night's Bivouac in the Snow-drift. 


a foot of the distance we had already gained with so 
much toil and labour, and thus hold our own amid the 
dense fog which enveloped us. 

For this purpose, I fixed upon the softest wreath, or 
sastrugi, of snow at hand to cut a trench deep enough 
to hold the two dogs, my companion, and myself, with a 
hunting-knife from Toms' waistbelt, which he had pro- 
videntially brought with him in the event of shooting a 
bear, and, although we did not actually come across this 
animal, we were not a little startled when, in the very 
thickest of the fog, our dogs rushed back towards us in 
affright at two objects, magnified as they loomed through 
the dense mist and drifting particles of ice and snow, 
into two Polar bears, in the imagination of ourselves, no 
less than the poor dogs'. Just as I was about bringing 
my gun to my shoulder, and calling upon my companion 
to prepare his to receive them, a sudden gust of wind 
making a temporary break in the snowdrift, revealed to 
us two immense boulders of rock which, in the excite- 
ment of the moment, we had transposed into the shaggy- 
coated rover and monarch of these wild wastes of snow. 
But with this hunting-knife, which has led me into this 
digression, I dug out to the depth of somewhat more 
than a foot, the only available bivouac in such a fearful 
night as this, and which possibly might prove our tomb, 
aided by Toms, who held back the dogs, for these poor 
animals were so anxious to get into their quarters for 
the night, that I had no small difficulty in avoiding cutting 
them during my work. We having piled up the snow 
around the margin of the cutting in readiness for drawing 
over us as a coverlet after we Iiad laid ourselves down 
in it, placing Terror across the chest of my com- 
panion, and Erebus at my own feet, we thus ensconced 
ourselves, at about the hour of midnight, from the direct 
influence of the war of the elements around, leaving only 
breathing space kept open by the gauntleted hand in 



Voyagex of Discovery. 

our snow-clad covering. The thermometer was at 32" 
below zero, or 64° below the freezing-point, Fahr. I 
cautioned my companion not to yield to sleep, for to 
sleep under such circumstances would be never to awake. 
Some of the terrific squalls and gusts of wind that passed 
over us during the night frequently induced me to get 
up, and after taking a hasty glance of our surroundings 
turn in again, quite unable to bear the exposure for more 
than a few minutes, deepening the trench with the knife 
as I did so, thus burrowing deeper in the snow as the 
gale increased. 

In this rather novel sort of Arctic bivouac we remained, 
as near as I could estimate, for some four hours and 
upwards, when, the fog lifting, and with the morning's 
dawn the stars appearing overhead to shape our course 
by, and the land on either side beginning to show, we 
once more resumed our journey, the dogs and ourselves 
somewhat refreshed, they by a sound sleep, ourselves 
from the mere rest. 

After proceeding for about three or four miles, we got 
sight of the ship's mast-head appearing just over the 
shingle riH^e, as we drew nearer to Erebus and Terror 
Bay. We had long before this seen Beechey Island in 
front, and Caswall's Tower behind us. From the latter 
I brought away two rock-specimens as mementoes of 
this memorable excursion, rendered doubly so to myself, 
associated as it is, with an escape from shipwreck in the 
Antarctic seas, when the Erebus came in collision with 
the Terror o^ a chain of bergs in •:\ gale of wind, of which 
this night is the anniversary of eleven years ago — a some- 
what remarkable coincidence, certainly. 

When we had got about halfway across the bay, we 
noticed a party leaving the ship, advancing towards us, 
which on their coming up proved to be a searching party 
for us, in charge of old Harvey, our boatswain's mate. 
We got on board between six and seven a.m., in advance 

Safe Return on Board. 


of the party sent out to meet us. The sun at the time 
was just rising over Caswall's Tower, with a keen head- 
wind from the westward, having suddenly veered round 
from the eastward yesterday during the fog, so that we 
had not even the wind to guide us, although suspecting 
at the time that such had occurred. I had ventured on 
the bare supposition to head it for some distance during 
the fog, and fortunately so far had been right in my 
conjecture, and made my course good. On getting on 
board this morning, after a wash and entire change of 
things, we had a cup of that most refreshing beverage, 
tea, with a rasher of bacon, in my own cabin. 

Sunday, 13///. — We both attended divisions and divine 
service. The searching parties sent out late last evening 
had not, however, yet left their beds, having been 
thoroughly knocked up. We both met with the most 
hearty congratulations from our young friend, Alston, 
the mate, and the whole ship's company, not one of 
whom had slept last night, it appears. 

After our return on board, we learnt that the whole 
ship's company had, much to their credit, volunteered 
early in the evening to form searching parties, under the 
charge of the petty officers, but it was not till nine p.m. 
they were permitted to start on their humane errand, the 
commander expressing his belief that in such weather 
we must both have perished. However, our generous- 
minded young friend, Alston, at last prevailed on him to 
let him have charge of a rescue party ; but it appears 
that, after remaining out from nine p.m. to five a.m., they 
got so bewildered in the fog, that they found them- 
selves at break of day somewhere under the northern 
ridges of the bay, opposite to, and in sight of the ship, 
where they raised a wall of snow, under the lee of which 
they took up their quarters, but were fortunately all well 
prepared in warm clothing, somewhat to resist the in- 
clemency of the night. 


Voyages of Discovery. 



Weather worse than ever — Examining the Afary for our proposed spring 
expedition — Narrow escape from a fatal accident — Laid up with 
broken ribs — Visit from one of the mates of the Resolute — Bird 
specimens — My first Arctic hare— An Arctic butterfly — Rambhng, 
sketching, shooting — Geological specimens. 

Monday, i^th. — This has been one of the most severe 
days of weather that we have yet experienced this winter. 
The weather, bad as it was during our absence from the 
ship, since our return on board has set in still worse, 
yesterday ending in a dismal night, blowing a very hurri- 
cane, with drifting snow, and the fog so thick as to 
entirely conceal the surrounding land, even to the nearest 
point of Beechey Island, and to-day the only visible object 
was the dogs' snow-kennel alongside, in which the poor 
animals lay closely housed throughout the day, all around 
being a dense atmosphere of overwhelming, drifting 
snow, through which not a speck of land v'as visible. 

Tuesday, 15M. — No change whatever in the state of the 
weather; blowing as hard as ever, with the temperature 
as low ; all around enveloped in dense fog and mist. 
How providential was our almost miraculous escape from 
our perilous position at the moment we effected it. It 
would have been to the last degree improbable that we 
could ever have succeeded in reaching the ship, or existed 
through such feariiii weather as we have had since our 
return, and up to the present time. There is no mistaking 
the hand of Providence in such a crisis. 

Accident and fractured Ribs. 


Wednesday ^ i6M. — The weather clearing up ; fine to- 
day, and the thermometer even rising above zero. The 
crew were employed in laying out gravel, where a line had 
been made for cutting a canal, when the commander, 
accompanied by the master, his brother, and quarter- 
masters, went over to the Mary, for the purpose of 
deciding the time she could be got afloat ; and as the 
time for my spring exploration in her is drawing near, I 
have too good reason to know that any obstacle in the 
way of my getting her will not be lost sight of. 

On each being asked individually his opinion, for fear 
of giving offence, and knowing the commander's wishes, 
the quartermaster's reply was not till August or Septem- 
ber. Rands alone, the coxswain of my own boat, a 
thorough seaman and fine, enterprising fellow, with heart 
and soul in the search, honestly and fearlessly gave his 
unbiassed opinion that he believed that she could be got 
afloat in June or July. This candid answer, as may be 
supposed, gave great umbrage, and so matters stand for 
the present. In the evening the weather again became 
overcast and thick, as bad as ever, with immense cracks 
opening in the floe all round the ship. 

Thursday y i^jth. — A fearful night again, blowing, if 
possible, harder than ever. I heard the loud howling and 
roaring of the blast in concert with the harsh cracking 
and grinding of the floes alongside throughout the night, 
the whole of the bay this morning presenting a smooth 
surface from the heavy snowdrift spread over it. 
Towards evening the gale again lulled, and I could see 
Caswall's Tower from the ship ; but in the night it came 
on to blow again, with thick weather. 

Friday, April 22nd. — After breakfast this morning, on 
going down to the lower-deck to see a patient slung in a 
cot there, upon crossing from one side of the deck to 
the other, the hatch having been most carelessly left off, 
I was very nearly being precipitated to the bottom of the 











• ' 

Voyages of Discovery. 

hold as, in the dark, I stepped over the edge, and only 
saved myself by grasping in my descent the " combings" 
of the hatchway with one arm, and when so suspended, 
by a desperate effort threw my body above the hatchway. 
The only light was a " dip " burning by the sick man's 
hammock. I came off with a fractured rib or two, and 
laceration of the intercostal muscular fibres, confining me 
to my cabin for about a fortnight for the bones to unite, 
under my young friend Toms' care and attention, which 
was unremitting. The pain in the right side, which 
came in contact with the sharp edge of the hatchway 
in my fall, was for some time afterwards very acute. My 
time during the preceding month was chiefly employed in 
my cabin, finishing my charts, sketches of land, and 
writing up my journal and reading. 

Saturday, May \^h. — The sun since the commence- 
ment of the present month has appeared above the 
horizon throughout the whole twenty-four hours. On the 
30th, about noon, as I was occupied in arranging papers, 
books, &c., in the drawers of my cabin, I heard a 
report on the main-deck that a stranger was seen coming 
over the shingle ridge from Union Bay, and making for 
the ship, and upon going on deck was not a little sur- 
prised to see Roche, one of the mates of the Resolute, 
coming up the ship's side alone, and on shaking hands 
with him on deck, learnt, to our astonishment, that the 
Investigator was at Bank's La zing made the Polar 

Passage. Another officer ana man arrived soon after, 
and Alston introduced me to Wynniatt, one of the lieu- 
tenants of the Investigator 

Tuesday, 315/. — Blowin-, half a gale of wind, with 
raw, foggy, overcast weather. At four p.m., Alston, 
with the dog-sledge and three men, left the ship to meet 
Lieutenant Cresswell and fourteen men sent from the 
Resolute. I had a long chat with Wynniatt and Roche, 
from whom I learnt that good old Captain Kellett had 

Commence sketching a Panorama of Beechey Island. 8 r 

desired to be kindly remembered both to myself and 

Thursday^ June 2nd. — I was awakened at four o'clock 
this morning by the arrival of Lieutenant Cresswell and 
party. On the 4th, Roche, accompanied by one man, 
started with the dog-sledge to rejoin the Resolute. 

Tuesday^ 2\st. — The longest day ; cloudy, but mild and 
calm. I walked round Beechey Island for the first time 
during the last three months, and found it very different 
now to what it was in my winter excursions. Having 
started at ten a.m., by the Union Bay ridge, I did not get 
on board again till two p.m. The snow covering the floe 
had become so soft, that in many places I sank above 
the knees at every step ; some spots were sludgy, with 
water beneath, filling mv German's boots over the tops 
with snow and sludge, . -ring the entire journey a most 
laborious and toilsome one. I picked up the first speci- 
men of the Saxifraga oppositifolia that I have seen in 
bloom this season, and collected a few fossils from the 

To-day I began a series of sketches for a complete 
panorama of Beechey Island all round, commencing my 
subject with the lofty, precipitous crag from which the 
Union Bay spit runs out, near my fox-trap. Here I got a 
glance of the raven as he flew croaking to the rocks, on 
which he alighted, but took especial care, prudent bird, 
to keep out of range of my gun. Saw a dovekie or two, 
and a small colony of the glaucous on theeastern precipice, 
where they are now breeding, uttering their wild, harsh 
cry of " Qua, qua," somewhat resembling the quack of the 
duck, at other times a more euphonious note. One fine 
bird flying overhead, a tempting shot, but towering far too 
high for small shot to have any effect, I fired the barrel 
loaded with ball, the first time I have fired it off for some 
three months past, and had the satisfaction to see my bird 
come down with a rotatory motion, and with such impetus 






Voyages of Discovery. 

I," I 





as to bury itself in the snow at nny feet, the aim being 
almost vertical. It was a fine male, measuring five feet 
from tip to tip of wings, and weighing four pounds. I pre- 
served the skin, which I still have in my collection ; the 
ball went right through the body. Toms and I had the 
body for dinner. 

Friday, 2^th. — Midsummer Day; somewhat resembled 
a Christmas one in England. At eleven a.m , accom- 
panied by my two dogs, I strolled beyond the Mary, and 
completed my series of sketches of Beechey Island, with 
one of the glaucous, and the other of the raven rookery. 
Numbers of the glaucous were sitting upon the rocks 
and the ledges containing their eggs, hopelessly inacces- 
sible, as were the ravens also at home, croaking loudly 
all the time I was making my sketch. 

Monday, July i\tli. — The commander, having started 
this evening with a sledge party for Cape Beecher, was 
about pressing into his service two of my boat's crew, 
Millikin and Nugent, whilst they were at work on the ice, 
but I at once checkmated this poor attempt to deprive 
me of a boat's crew by directing Toms to place them 
both on the sick-list, with my own servant, Clark, the 

Wednesday, 20th. — I made an excursion round Cape 
Spencer for some three miles beyond, as far as a lake 
and large watercourse, where I rested, and lunched on 
some preserved beef and biscuit, and a bottle of lime- 
juice, leaving the empty bottle as a memento on a pile 
of limestone rock overhanging the steepest part of the 
rapid current, as it foamed along its narrow channel to 
empty itself into the Wellington Channel, where a long 
ledge of rocks enclose a lagoon, in which some heavy 
masses of ice have been confusedly piled to a consider- 
able height, looking yellow, decayed, and old. Got on 
board at six p.m., having left the ship at ten a.m. 

Thursday, i\st. After breakfast I started on a geo- 

Shoot viy first Arctic I I are beneath Cape Riley. 83 



logical and botanical excursion to Cape Riley, about four 
miles distant across the bay floe. A ccack in the ice 
leaving some open water, was full of dovekies, and extend- 
ing from the cape. On landing, I left everything but my 
gun near the Beacon Cask, and began the ascent of the 
cape at a rather difficult spot. I found the fossil shells 
tolerably thickly distributed between the base and the 
summit, but for the most part much weathered and 
decayed from atmospheric exposure during the lapse of 
ages. The productae and corallines were most numerous, 
the former nearest the summit. This shell, the producta, 
first appears in the upper Silurian, and continues through- 
out the Devonian and carboniferous periods. The day, 
being one of the most lovely ones — with a brilliant sun — 
we have yet experienced, a clear, blue sky, scarcely 
flecked by the faintest cloud, with a light air from the 
eastward, afforded me a magnificent prospect of the 
surrounding lands, with Barrow's Strait and the Welling- 
ton Channel extending white and level as far as the 
eye could reach in one unbroken, vast plain of ice. 

After a somewhat difficult descent, with my pockets 
filled with fossils, some few collected from the summit, I 
saw a white object spinning round and erect, like a 
phantom, amongst the rocky ledges at the base of the 
cape, amongst which it suddenly disappeared, but not 
before I had recognized it to be the Arctic hare. Follow- 
ing this beautiful creature along the dt^bris where I 
had lost sight of her, on looking down upon the plain 
beneath I again caught sight of her seated there. 
Descending from the ridge, I attempted to get within shot, 
but white puss was too wary for that, and bolted off, 
followed by a ball from one of my barrels when about joo 
yards off. Following up my game with the remaining 
barrel, loaded with No. 4 shot, when I got within about, 
fifty yards of her I fired, and shot her through the 
head, and she rolled down the ridge in convulsive 

G 2 


yoya/^es of Discovery. 




struggles, bleeding profusely from the nostrils, to the 
injury of the beautifully white fur. This is the first hare 
we have met with, and the first I ever shot ; a full-grown 
animal, tips of the ears black. 

Here I caught a small brown butterfly, and about 
half a dozen very small dipterae dancing in the air, only 
a few feet above the surface of the ground, like the 
ephemerae towards the close of day in England. How 
these frail and delicately-organized creatures can spring 
into existence here is really most wonderful. I saw 
a solitary snow-bunting and the raven, with now and 
then a gull flying over the point, and before I left I shot 
a fine silvery gull. I 'mcI some preserved beef and a 
slice of bread, washed down by a draught of pure water 
from an adjacent running stream, for my dinner, on the 
point of Cape Riley. I started on my feturn, with 
as much as I could well carry, haversack full of fossils 
and plants, and did not get on board till ten p.m. Toms 
came on the floe to meet and congratulate me on my 
success. When I had finished laying out my plants in 
papers, it was midnight before I turned in, the sun shining 
into my cabin port. 

Friday^ 22nd. — Being the anniversary of my fifty- 
third birthday, I passed the day in an excursion to 
Cape Riley. The weather was cloudy, with a fresh north- 
west wind, but not so fine as yesterday. On reaching 
the point extending out from the cape, I was fortunate 
enough to discover two more hares quietly squatted 
under the lower ridge of rocks, one somewhat higher up 
than the other. 1 succeeded in shooting them both, a 
male and female, and I found them no small weight to 
carry for above three miles over the floe, getting on 
board about three p.m. I shot an ivory gull {Lartis 
eburneus) near the ship. The crew were working at the 
triangles on the ice, and looked somewhat astonished at 
seeing me freighted with two more hares. I took a 

V > 

Mountain Limestone Hill rich with Fossils. 85 

sketch of the bay and surrounding hills from Cape Riley. 
As soon as I got on board, I had my lime-juice draught, 
that excellent antiscorbutic. One of my hares weighed 
nine pounds, about the weight of the Arctic fox. 

Tuesday, 26th. — Cloudy and cold, with south-east winds. 
At nine a.m, I crossed over the bay floe to Cape Riley 
again, but on finding no more hares there, I followed the 
line of beach under the cliffs to the top of the bay, and 
on reaching the plain leading to Caswall's Tower, 1 had 
a shot at four eider ducks, firing both barrels, but without 
effect, they being beyond the range of my gun. After 
shooting a sandpiper, I ascended one of the cliffs in the 
northern range of hills, having a lake at its entrance. 

From a broad-bottomed, deep, shingly ravine, having a 
rapid watercourse down its centre, I ascended a high 
hill by the watercourse. Here, amongst the broken-up 
debris of limestone, having a foliaceous fracture, I found 
the largest and most perfect specimens of madrepores, 
and corals with echini, profusely scattered about the 
acclivity of the hill, with some fragments of ironstone, of 
which I collected some fine specimens, and also of the 
cup coral {Caryophylia cyathus), a fossil of the upper 
Silurian series. 

This hillside, richer both in the profusion and per- 
fection of its specimens of the vestiges of past ages than 
any other locality which I have hitherto come across 
here, impresses the mind with the conviction that crea- 
tures constructed as these are could only exist in the 
warmest regions, therefore must have at some period or 
other lived in a tropical, or at least subtropical climate 
here. For the very perfect condition of the delicate 
organization these specimens are found in, precludes all 
supposition as to their having been transported from any 

When on this limestone table-land of North Devon, I 
had to make a circuit of the heads of the ravines, which 


Voyages of Discovery. 

terniinate in precipitous cliffs for a mile or more inland 
of the bay, filled with snow or rivulets. This was harass- 
ing work, adding several miles to the toilsome route 
before I could regain the plain beneath. This I at last 
accomplished by descending a ravine, following the water- 
course till it passed through a tunnel in the ice and 
snow, when I ascended the bank on the light, and finally 
descended to the plain. Gathered some fine specimens 
of that elegant golden yellow saxifrage {Saxifraga flagC' 
laris) with its curling tendrils, like strawberry runners 
or spider's legs in bloom, growing on the mossy margin 
of the lake. I returned on board about eight p.m., having 
been eleven hours from the ship, and allowing the mode- 
rate rate of two miles an hour, inclusive of stoppages, I 
must have gone over twenty-two miles of ground. 

Monday, August \st. — Clouds and sunshine, with a 
fine westerly breeze. After breakfast, I left the ship on 
an excursion to Caswall's Tower. Proceeding along the 
Cape Riley ridge, I shot a leveret on the rocky ridge, 
near where I shot the hares, and also two ravens flying 
overhead. Having placed the whole en cache beneath 
some rocks, I ascended to the top of Cape Riley, and 
just before I reached it, shot a third raven, leaving it 
also behind me. From this spot I had a fine view of 
the water lately opened out by the crack between Cape 
Riley and Beechey Island, the separation in the floe 
forming a channel two or three miles in width, diverging 
off at an angle in the direction of Cape Bunny as far as 
the eye could reach, but the entrance to Wellington 
Channel remained as closely beset as ever. I had a long 
and laborious journey along the whole length of the ridge, 
having to cross some half-dozen of deep, flat-bottomed 
ravines, with watercourses running through the centre of 
them, here and there a large patch of snow remaining. 

The shingle table-land was more easily passed over, 
especially approaching Caswall's Tower, at its eastern 


F.xcursion to Cas%>.'all's 7'i'a'cr, 


rxtremity. After travelling some six miles over the 
summit, Gascoigne Inlet appeared below it, into which I 
descended down a somewhat steep, shingly hill, and across 
a large patch of snow at its base, where I heard the lively 
call of the sandpiper, and on my reaching the plain below, 
saw the little bird running along on its slender legs by 
the margin of a stream, and might have shot it, but as I 
had already obtained the requisite number for the col- 
lection, three specimens, I felt reluctant to deprive the 
pretty little creature of the existence which it appeared 
in the full enjoyment of, and so happy even amid this 
scene of desolation, but which was natural to it, and 
still more, its summer home. 

I next crossed the floe over Gascoigne Inlet, which, 
with the exception of a few cracks on the opposite 
shores, proved smooth and good travelling for about two 




Voyages of Discovery. 


Successful nscent of Caswall's Tower — Traces of an old Estjuimaux 
encampment — Gain the summit — Collection of specimens— The 
Plia'tiix and Drtadalbane come in sight — Lieutenant Bellot — 
Commander InglefieUl — Bellot's undertaking — I am appointed 
" additional " to the /V/ar/z/jr— Hellot's death reported by his sur- 
vivors—Loss of the lireadalbane in an ice nip — I get my baggage 
safely on board the Phixnix — The North Star almost deserted. 

The last attempt to ascend Caswall's Tower baffled our 
efforts. I was still at least a mile off, having a shingle bank 
between me and it. On reaching its base, I saw the remains 
of very old Esquimaux encampments, forming circles of 
limestone slabs, intermingled with the bones of whales par- 
tially embedded in a rich bed of mossy turf ; the ribs, pelvis, 
and vertebrae bore the marks of great age. These spots 
were much more richly clothed with mosses, lichens, and 
flowering plants, and the flowers larger; the most striking 
blooms were those of the poppy, the saxifrages, both 
the purple and the golden flagelaris, with its slender purple 
tendrils, the yellow ranunculus and campanula, and a pretty 
little yellow flower much resembling the golden saxifrage. 
Doubtless, these fine, large blooms owed their vigorous 
appearance and unusual size and colour to the richness of 
the soil, formed from the decay of whales' blubber and 
other animal remains at the time it was the home of the 

The circles of stones measured about twelve paces in 
diameter ; the bones were stuck into the ground between 
the slabs of limestone, and from the number of holes in 












i • 





■. r 


t \ 



. i 



H. ) 





5 O 

I-" a 
^ « • 

? § S 


S *l « 



O n 

^ I- 


yiscent of Caszc>a/fs Toivcr. 


the vicinity, both hares and lemmings find a refuge here. 
The droppings of the former were thickly scattered about, 
although none appeared to be very recent. I had a dis- 
tant shot at two Arctic gulls and an eider duck. 

I ascended Caswall's Tower from the west side, the 
only side on which it is accessible — and this is very steep, 
in some places almost perpendicular, over piles of foli- 
aceous limestone, which somewhat lessens the difficult, 
although laborious work. It is between 300 and 400 feet 
in height, having a flat, table-topped summit, covered 
with dry mud, intermingled here and there with limestone 
fragments, and scattered over very sparsely with a few 
small, stunted poppies '^>nd saxifrages. On walking round 
the top, I found it bounded in every direction but one by 
fearful, precipitous escarpments, wild and picturesque 
crags, and pinnacles of rock, rising from below in chaotic 
contusion, almost producing a sensation of giddiness in 
looking down upon them. 

As I was piling up a small cairn on the south side, 
near to a craggy, projecting point, under which I placed 
a ball with a slip of paper, on which I had written my own 
name and that of the ship in pencil, I most imexpectedly 
came upon a lemming on raising a small slab of the lime- 
stone, beneath which a young lemming had concealed 
itself, flat as a pancake. I caught it, and took it on board 
with me, and still have it preserved in my collection. 
Three or four white balls of hare's fur, and resembling 
the castings of a bird of prey, were lying near. I picked 
up a few plants, and the fossil Tubiporn, and sketched 
the entrance to Gascoigne's Inlet, Beechey Island, Corn- 
wallis Land, &c. ; and after having my lunch of preserved 
beef and bread on the summit, I accomplished the descent 
only a few paces to the north of that by which I ascended 
to the shingle ridge on the west side to the Esquimaux 

At the head of Gascoigne's Inlet I saw four red- 



I* i* 

; I 


yoya^cs of Discovery, 

Vi^^ : 

throated divers on a lake. As I returned along the plain, 
I shot a solitary king-duck, flying past me at the distance 
of some fifty yards or so — the only one of the species 
that I have been able to obtain. 1 had to cross several 
deep watercourses, and to walk for some distance along 
the head of the bay, before I could get upon the floe, in 
consequence of its having separated from the shore, 
leaving open water. 1 1 has now become excellent walking 
upon the floe-ice, the pools of water having drained off, 
and the slippery ice become covered with a crisp coating 
of snow, of a smooth and uniform whiteness. The pools 
were this morning frozen over. On nearing the ship, I 
had to make a long ddtoiir to avoid the docks and cuttings. 
My two dogs were lying alongside, but nobody on deck. 

Thursday, \th. — After breakfast I started across the 
floe for Cape Riley, to bring on board my cache of 
Monday last. Although three days and nights had 
elapsed, I found both leverets and ravens quite dry and 
uninjured, yet we had had almost continuous rain. I 
saw another leveret on the ledge of rocks, and on ap- 
proaching it a second appeared above it, standing erect on 
its hind legs, looking at me, and spinning round in the 
same fantastic way as the first I shot here did. I shot 
both of these, and then ascended to the summit of the 
cape to pick up the third raven, left there on my last 
visit. The mountain was now suddenly enveloped in a 
dense fog for a few minutes, which lifted before I reached 
the base. I picked up a specimen or two of fossil shells, 
weighing about five pounds, which I brought on board in 
my pocket, distributing the three hares and three ravens 
about my person as well as I could, slinging the latter to 
my shot-belt, which formed a girdle round my waist, with 
one hare in my haversack, another suspended from the 
barrel of my gun, carrying the third in my hand. The 
whole formed a good freight, considering the nature of 
the floe across which my course lay. As I passed the 

: , H 

Arrival of t he " Plianix " and " B rcadalbanc T 9 1 

triangle at which our crew were employed cutting with the 
saw a canal through the ice, they looked astonished at 
my Robinson-Crusoe-like appearance, so laden with game 
from so desolate a region. I got on board at three p.m. 
Barrow Strait seemed to be much more open, and the ice 
in motion, drifting fast down channel. 

Sunday, "jth. — Nugent, one of my own boat's crew, 
brought on board for me a young lemming, found by my 
dog Terror under a stone, just below the ravine of 
Beechey Island. In the evening, it ate readily and 
heartily of some willows and other plants Toms had kindly 
collected for it. It frisked about in a lively manner, 
uttering a sort of squeaking bark. I put it into a box 
in a nest of tow, into which it soon rolled itself up and 

Monday, 8i/i. — Cloudy, with westerly wind. Between 
three and four p.m., two vessels hove in sight, coming 
round Cape Riley, announced by a " hurrah ! " from the 
Hoe. They proved to be the Phoenix steamer, commanded 
by Captain Inglefield, and the Breadalbane, No. 2 trans- 
port, with provisions and coals for the squadron. I hap- 
pened to be walking the deck when Commander Ingle- 
field came on board, who, raising his hat to salute the 
quarter-deck, said " How do you do ?" This was all that 
then passed between us, as we had never been introduced 
to each other, and he descended at once to the com- 
mander's cabin. Charlton, the surgeon of the Phoenix, 
whom I had previously known at Woolwich, came to see 
me, accompanied by the young Frenchman, Lieutenant 
Bellot, with whom I had a long chat, several other officers 
of the Phoenix being with them. 

Tuesday, gth. — We have to-day completed an entire 
year in this bay. The ships were lying off Cape Riley, 
unloading their stores and coals there. After breakfast a 
party of us walked across the bay floe to them. On going 
on board the Phoenix, Dr. Charlton introduced me to 

i 1 li 



I: i 




Voyages of Discovery. 

Commander Inglefield on the quarter-deck, and I had 
some conversation with him about his recent voyage up 
Smith's Sound, when he remarked, " I very anxiously 
looked out for you there." I told him that I was not per- 
mitted to start until the short season was so far advanced 
winter was setting in, and all that I had time left me to do 
was to set at rest the mooted question as to whether any 
opening or means of communication existed between 
Baring Bay and Jones Sound. 

I told him of my intention to return to England with 
him, as I could be of no possible further use out here, 
circumstanced as I was, precluded from doing anything 
further in the search. He replied that he had instruct- 
tions from the Admiralty to bring home all who wished 
to return. We all dined on board the Phoenix dX two p.m., 
and I had a long and interesting conversation with Bellot 
on deck, and learnt from him at the dinner-table that my 
lamented dear friend, Lieutenant Lejeune, of the French 
navy, was dead, who had been the companion of Du- 
perrey in his voyage round the world. In the evening, 
Bellot and Osborne pulled us in the whale-boat along the 
floe-edge part of the way back to our ship, and from this 
we struck across the floe through a dense fog, entirely 
concealing the surrounding land. Saw several large seals 
in the water. We got on board about nine p.m., after 
splashing through numerous watercourses and pools of 
water on the ice, at times over the tops of our fisherman's 
boots, and jumping over others. 

Friday^ 12th. — Calm, cloudy, overcast day. Bellot 
this morning breakfasted with us in the gun-room. He is 
to start this evening with despatches up the Wellington 
Channel. He came into my cabin to see my sketches of 
the coast-line, and copied some of the headlands into his 
note-book. He read the letter to me from Captain Hamil- 
ton, the secretary to the Admiralty, and also the one from 
my friend, Mr. John Barrow, and said that he had met the 

Lieutenant Bellofs Departure and Fate. 93 

latter at Sir Francis Beaufort's, with the Admiral of the 
Fleet. At this moment I was sent for on deck, and a 
memorandum put into my hand, directing me to transmit 
to the commodore my track chart and coast-line sketches, 
which I set about at once, accompanying them by a letter 
" on service." 

Bellot came on board this evening in his travelling- 
dress, most picturesque in appearance, as he walked our 
quarter-deck. It consisted of a light salmon-coloured 
robe, or frock, having a hood, and belted round the 
waist with a leather girdle, from which appeared a hunting- 
knife in a leather sheath ; fisherman's boots, above the 
tops of which the white hose showed ; a Welsh wig, with 
no other covering to his head : he held a staff, having a 
square piece of wood at the end, in his hand ; a small bag 
was suspended from the girdle, containing the " despatch " 
for the commodore. Thus equipped, this gallant young 
fellow started, accompanied only by four men from our 
ship, a sledge, and a " Halkett's" indiarubber boat, on 
a journey of so hazardous a nature, amongst drifting 
ice, full of broken-up floes, acted upon by winds and 
currents, in such a dangerous navigation as the Welling- 
ton Channel is, especially at this season of the year. 

On no account whatever should he have been allowed 
to depart without a whale-boat, or some other equally 
efficient one. This precaution, so necessary, as I had 
found from my own personal experience, I endeavoured to 
impress upon him, as a paramount duty he owed both to 
his followers and himself, and that if a boat was not offered 
him by the commander of the North Star, he should him- 
self apply for one. Could this noble and enthusiastic, 
unassuming youth have been induced to do so, it could 
not have been refused him under such circumstances, and 
we now might not have had to deplore the premature loss 
of one of the greatest ornaments of the navy of France, 
or, indeed, of any other country. 

I * 






; ! 



Voyages of Discove*")'. 

Saturday, x^th. — I caught my little lemming on the 
deck of my cabin this morning before breakfast, and 
returned him to his box, which he by no means approved 
of, making angry efforts to get out by gnawing the wooden 
bars, and chattering with his teeth, so I let him out 
again, limiting his excursions to the space in front of my 
port-sash during the day, which delighted him so much 
that he gambolled round me, running under the book 
before me in the most playful manner. 

Saturday, 20th. — Yesterday having been appointed 
" additional" to the Phoenix for a passage home, I joined 
her to-day, walking over the floe to Cape Riley, where 
she remained beset in the ice. I was accompanied by a 
party and most of the North Star's ship's company, all, 
indeed, that could possibly do so had volunteered for the 
Phoenix, so thoroughly dissatisfied and sick of the ship 
had they become during the wretched, miserable winter 
passed in her. 

To-day two of our men — Harvey, the boatswain's mate, 
and Madden, a seaman — who had accompanied poor 
Bellot, returned with the melancholy intelligence of his 
death. He was blown off a hummock of ice in the gale 
up the Wellington Channel on Wednesday last, when 
drifted from the shore in the turmoil of the pack-ice, 
between four and five p.m. I learnt from Captain Ingle- 
field that poor Bellot had left a sister in ill-health depen- 
dent on him for support. 

Sunday, 21st. — I was awakened this morning about 
four o'clock with the report that the Phoenix was in a 
" nip," and the Breadalbane transport, just astern of her, 
in ;i still more severe one. Upon going on deck, I saw 
fl.*" t-'nspor*^ heeling over amid the ice, about midway 
\ cr I en Cape Riley and Beechey Island. 

I w'tuessed the whole catastrophe from the stern of the 
Ihcemx It occurred during a dead calm ; the horizon 
ip i'""j v'ih dark, having a diffused blackness. The 







Port Craheutv 



'."lucent Biooks Day iSonL;*}" 


\ I 



y . '>'.'' Ccmtu.-'tt P X 1, 



^eybeck lulet 


^V^fi>rfnuA^BayinAi>'u>rirc/(Ae Zaa/ JtZaicuj' 

.f O N E S 


s o r N D 

C*^^ MiaeidvTuUel- 







— of the East Coast of 



Explored by — 




— In Search of 


urrnlP:'-''t Tay 4A^')f.L:^h 


Leave the " North Star " in a Boat xvith my two Do^s, 95 

enormous pressure of the contending floes was such as 
to crush in her bottom, sinking beneath the overwhelm- 
ing ice within a quarter of an hour from the commence- 
ment of the " nip " to the disappearance of her top- 
gallant-masts beneath the floe, which closed over her, 
leaving scant time for her crew to jump upon the icf, 
with their bags and hammocks, to save their lives. 

Monday, 22nd. — A fine day, and the ice, fortunately for 
me, opening, enabled a boat to bring away my things from 
the North Star, for which purpose, after breakfast, I 
walked over the floe. By prompt action, hurrying my 
baggage and my two Esquimaux dogs into the boat along- 
side, we made our way, without the loss of a moment, 
through the temporary canal formed by the separation of 
the floe, and which might close up again at any moment, 
and on reaching the Phxnix with my baggage, which I 
was within an ace of leaving behind me, 1 got it struck 
down her spirit-room. The North Star is now left with- 
out a single A.B. of her own crew, and only five hands 
remain altogether on board of her. This of itself indeed 
speaks volumes. 


I'cakcd mountain, Graham Harbour, I ascended, by the dotted track 
up and down. {See piij^c 97.) 

I "■' 


On the way home — Weather-bound in Graham Harbour— Disco — Fes- 
tivities — Anchor at Holsteinberg — The Moravian chapel — Death of 
my dog Terror — We near the Orkneys — Home. 

Wednesday, August 24///. — At three p.m. we took leave 
of Cape Riley, Beechey Island, and the bay — where I 
had passed just a year of my life — under steam, with light 
winds from the westward, and foggy weather. About 
seven p.m. we passed Radstock Bay, afterwards Cape 
Hurd, and before midnight we were off Maxwell Bay. 

Thursday, 25///. — At 4.30 a.m. our course was ar- 
rested by the pack, resting on a point near Hobhouse 
Creek. A boat was sent away to look for a harbour. 

V \ 

Ascent of Mount Plurnix, 


when, a thick fo^ coming on, we eventually got into a 
creek which was named Graham Harbour, and within 
which the heavy pack soon closed us in. To-day, I 
diiK'd with Commander Inglefield in his cabin, at which 
several ofHccrs of the ship were present. 

Wednesday^ "^^st. — We have been weather-bound in 
an amphitheatre of hills, with a heavy easterly gale 
blowing, and snow, sKtet, and rain at intervals, since the 
25th ; and this morning, the weather having cleared up 
fine with sunshine, I landed, and ascended the peak on 
the eastern side of the entrance to the harbour, 1000 
feet in height, to ascertain the condition of the ice in 
Barrow's Strait, and the chances of our escape from 
being frozen in here for the winter. 

After a toilsome ascent, first over loose blocks of 
limestone, then up two craggy projections or buttresses, 
I gained a saddle in the mountain, near the summit, 
when I had before me a very steep conical peak, ice and 
snow-clad, rising for some fifty feet to the summit ; by 
beating steps in the hard, frozen snow with the butt-end 
of my gun, I had approached so near to the perpendicular 
with such a slippery foothold, that I was, when so near 
the top, compelled to descend on the side next the 
ravine, over a surface so precipitous and slippery, that I 
had to beat out every step for foothold on the fiozen 
surface with my gun. 

I was rewarded, however, by a fine commanding view 
of Barrow's Strait, and from the highest point attained 
1 saw two extensive lanes of open water, as far as the 
eye could reach from ten to fifteen miles off shore. And 
of this we were immediately enabled to take advantage, 
and at once got out of the creek, finally named Phoenix 
Harbour, after the ship. When I reached the bottom, I 
found the surgeon and several other officers of the ship 
awaiting me there, and we returned on board at 3.30 
p.m., when, as soon as dinner was over, we weighed 


1 It 



l'oya(;es of Discovery. 


anchor, and steamed out, but had to anchor again at 
ten p.m. Whilst detained here, I took sketches of the 
harbour all round. 

Thursday^ September \st. — Being finally out of the 
creek, we steamed along a narrow lane of water, between 
the pack and the shore, forcing our way through some 
necks of ice, and heavy masses. On the following day, 
when off Port Dundas, in Croker Bay, three native 
canoes came alongside from an encampment on shore, 
where five tents and a small group of the Esquimaux 
were visible. In the afternoon we got clear of Lan- 
caster Sound, and on the following mdtning found our- 
selves off Pond's Bay, with a favourable wind for Disco. 

Friday, ^tli. — We anchored in the harbour of Lievely, 
and remained there until Saturday, 17th, where we 
passed a very agreeable week. 

Saturday, loth. — I went on shore accompanied by 
the surgeon of the Phosnix, and Lieutenants Wynniatt 
and Cresswell, in a native boat, visited the native hut, 
where we found the governor's two attendants, the sisters 
Sophie and Marie, and afterwards called on Mr. Olick, 
the Inspector- General of North Greenland, by whom 
we were most hospitably received, and wine placed be- 
fore us, brought in by Marie. I learnt from Mr. Olrik 
that the former governor, Maltrop, was now at Riten- 
berg, and his clerk at Egistemond. We next visited the 
governor, a young man, where wine was also set before 
us by Marie. Afterwards we took a ramble round the 
bill, and a visit to the churchyard, returning on board to 

Sunday, wth. — Captain Inglefield dined in the gun- 
room, and during the forenoon we had a large party of 
the natives on board to see the ship. The music-box was 
set going, to which they sang songs, and had some wine 
and biscuits. Sophie with her mother and two of her 
sisters were among the number ; and on my presenting 

Supper at Inspector-General Olrik's. 


her with a case of needles, she made signs that she 
would make me a watch-case. The Esquimaux men of 
the party had a glass of grog each, and they all left 
much gratified. 

Monday, \2tJ1. — Dined in the cabin with Captain 
Inglefield to meet the Inspector-General Olrik, and 
the governor and his lady, the Investigator s officers, 
and some of his own. Mr. Olrik afterwards joined us 
in the gun-room, and I had a long chat with him. On 
shaking hands with him, as I saw him over the ship's 
side with Captain Inglefield, he gave me an invitation 
to come on shftre and sup with him this evening. 

The supper-table was laid out at the governor's, and 
he and his lady presided. There were present besides 
the Inspector Olrik, Captain Inglefield, three or four 
of the officers of the Phoenix, and myself. Marie at- 
tended at table. The governor presented me with a 
curious toothpick, made out of a walrus tusk, by one 
of the Esquimaux, very ingeniously, with only a com- 
mon knife. Two salutes were fired whilst at the 
governor's, and one of ten guns on Mr. Olrik's com- 
ing on board the Phoenix. We left at eleven p.m. 
When I returned on board in an Esquimaux boat, the 
night was dark and stormy, with a loud crashing among 
the bergs. 

Tuesday, i^th. — W^e had an invitation from Mr. Olrik 
to tea with him this evening, and at eight p.m. we landed. 
An excellent supper, with all the produce of Disco, spread 
out before us. Small radishes grown in the governor's 
garden, excellent rye and white bread, with fresh butter, 
cold glaucous gull or burgomaster, washed down by 
good claret, &c., and a good cup of tea. Governor 
present, and Sophie attended. 

Wednesday, i^t/i. — I landed and paid a visit to the 
Esquimaux huts, constructed of turf and willow, with 
wooden beams, and windows formed of dried intestines. 

11 2 




Voyages of Discovery. 

At the Brobergs' wigwam, which was superior in its con- 
struction to the rest, Sophie and Marie's family con- 
sisted of eleven in all — father, mother, and six daughters, 
with five sons. I met Mr. Olrik, the Inspector-General 
of North Greenland, who took me home with him, v/here 
I had a cup of coffee, and saw the radishes growing in 
the garden, and brought in by Sophie. 

Thursday, \^th. — After breakfast I accompanied the 
surgeon of the Phoenix on shore to see a patient, one of 
the Brobergs' daughters, and a sister of the governor's 
two attendants, Sophie and Marie. Mr. Olrik himself 
came in, and acted as our interpreter, when, having duly 
prescribed for the patient, we returned with Mr. Olrik to 
his house. He showed us round his garden, the care- 
fully preserved radish-beds, and workshops, and upstairs 
to his library, where, at my request, Sophie wrote her 
name on a sheet of paper, as a specimen of her hand- 
writing, and in return I presented her with a new silk 
kerchief for her head-dress, putting it on for her accord- 
ing to the latest Esquimaux style of fashion, when she 
instantly shot out of the door laughing and delighted, and 
much to the amusement of the inspector-general, who 
also gave me a specimen of Esquimaux composition in 
the native language. We next visited the school, at 
which about fifteen little girls and boys were seated at 
table learning their letters ; this had been the chapel. 
Here Captain Inglefield joined us, and after calling on 
the lieutenant-governor, we returned on board about noon, 
through a shower of rain. 

The inspector-general and lieutenant-governor were 
saluted with nine guns on coming over the ship's side 
to-day, and were received at the gangway by all the 
officers of the ship. We dined at three p.m. After 
dinner I had a long chat with both the governors in the 
engine-room, to which they had retired to smoke their 
pipes. I presented each of them with copies of the 

Model of Esquimaux Canoe from Inspector- Gen . Olrik. i o i 

Arctic blue-books containing my own plans of search, 
the last new navy list, and the new chart of Baffin's Bay. 
I learnt from the inspector-general that he had passed five 
winters and seven summers here, and that the governor 
had been previously at Egedesmunde. 

Friday^ \6lh. — This morning the first lieutenant of the 
Phccnix delivered to me a very handsome model of an 
Esquimaux canoe, which had been made expressly for 
Inspector-General Olrik, who presented it to me as a 
parting token, and which was brought on board last night 
by the first lieutenant. • 

After dinner I went on shore to take leave of Mr. Olrik, 
and thank him. He showed me his collection of speci- 
mens, gave me some sea-birds' eggs, a bottle of mollusca, 
and a very old volume of " Egede's Greenland Journal," 
also an introduction to his brother, a merchant in London, 
with his card of address. 

On Sophie coming into the room, I told her, when 
she had finished the watch-pocket she was making for 
me, to give it to Mr. Olrik, which he interpreted to her, 
and took me on board in his own boat, having engaged 
to take Captain Inglefield on board of the Danish barque, 
of 320 tons, the Northern Lights, lying in the harbour, and 
we all went on board the barque together, under a salute 
of nine guns, one on each side, and very small ones too. 

Her captain, Bank, had been out here no less than 
thirty-nine times, and wintered once. He handed us each 
a glass of champagne, with the Danish custom of touch- 
ing glasses together in drinking healths. The cabin was 
very comfortably fitted. 

On our return on board, the kind-hearted and hospitable 
Dane, Olrik, took his final leave of us. From this fine 
specimen of the Dane all the English expeditions out 
here have invariably met with the greatest kindness and 

During the first watch he sent on board the watch- 

« * 



Voyages of Discovery 

VA\ (ji 



pocket which the kind Esquimaux girl had made for 
myself, as a specimen of native work, also a black Esqui- 
maux pup, from himself to Captain Inglelield. The cables 
were shortened in, and boats hoisted up and in, prepara- 
tory to getting under weigh at four o'clock to-morrow 

Saturday, 17///. — At six a.m., under a salute from the 
barque and the two small forts on shore, which we 
returned, we stood out of the harbour of Lievely. Fog, 
snow falling, and hills white. 

Sunday, September i8tk, at two p.m. — On anchoring 
here, Holsteinberg, we found our old whaling friend, Cap- 
tain Parker, in the Truelove, at anchor in the harbour. 
He, with the two governors, came on board. After dinner 
I landed for the first time in Holsteinberg. Called on 
the governor, who, with the lieutenant-governor, occupy 
the same house — the latter on the ground floor, and the 
former the first floor. 

Jorgen N. Neilson Molher, the governor, so resembles 
in personal appearance Shakespeare's fat, jovial knight, 
both in bulk, dress, and manner, that I at one dubbed 
him Sir John Falstaff. He possessed a fund of merri- 
ment, singing capital songs, and treating us with great 
hospitality to reindeer, ptarmigan, and other delicacies of 
the country, with no lack of claret, punch, gin, &c. ; and 
from the abundance of animal spirits he displayed 
throughout the evening, must, T should imagine, be the 
very life and soul of this little communitv, shut out as it 
is from the rest of the world throughout the long, dark, 
tedious winters. 

Monday, \gtli. — I went on shore again, and paid a visit 
to the priest and the lieutenant-governor, Elberg, whose 
ladies offered refreshments in the shape of the country's 
preserves {Enipetruni nigrum) and cherry bounce, and 
Mr. Elberg afterwards accompanied me as interpreter in 
the purchase of a large Esquimaux canoe I was in treaty 

ide for 
; Esqui- 
B cables 

rom the 
lich we 
'. Fog, 

id, Cap- 
er dinner 
;alled on 
, occupy 
and the 


1 knight, 


»f merri- 

th great 

acies of 

c. ; and 


f, be the 

•ut as it 

ig, dark, 

Ida visit 
f, whose 
loun try's 
]cc, and 
lireter in 








I,.:' ;l:! 

' ' !'. 


, rl 







1 '■ 











Arrival at Siromncss, Orkneys. 


with an Esquimaux for, and purchased, with all its gear, 
for the sum of 2/. I also went with him to the govern- 
ment store, and bought some reindeer skins. Eider- 
down was \os. per lb. I paid a visit to the little Mora- 
vian chapel, which contained, besides the pulpit, an organ, 
communion table, and something like a score of benches, 
the whole was surmounted by a belfry. I took a sketch 
of the harbour and settlement. 

Tuesday, 20th, — A lovely day, a bright sun in a clear 
blue sky, the finest day we have had this season. I turned 
out at five a.m., went on deck, and we weighed at 5.30 
a.m., in company with the Truelove, towing her out of the 
harbour, till she cast off from us at four p.m., with three 
cheers, and before darkness set in was hull down astern. 

Friday, 22,rd. — We passed the latitude of Cape 
Farewell at 59° 36', and longitude 51° 35'. We have had 
fine displays of the aurora. 

Monday, 26th. — One of my poor dogs. Terror, was 
taken ill with some virulent distemper, and notwithstand- 
ing all my efforts to save her life by medicine and un- 
remitting care, she died. Her skin was in- such a con- 
dition I could only preserve the carcase in pickle for the 
skeleton, now in the Museum of the Royal College of 

Tuesday, October \th. — This evening we were off the 
Old Man of Hoy, in the Orkneys, and entered the har- 
bour of Stromness in a gale of wind and rain. 

On the following day, Wednesday, the 5th of October, 
Dr. Hamilton came on board, and I accompanied him on 
shore to his house, where he introduced me to Mrs. 
and Miss Hamilton, with whom I chatted till two p.m., 
when he returned on board with me to dinner, and 
afterward? I returned on shore with him, and had tea with 
his amiable family ; his wife is a sister of the distin- 
guished Arctic traveller, Dr. Rae. There are nine children. 
I passed a very pleasant evening, and left about eleven 






'•« III 




Voyages of Discovery. 

p.m. On the following day, Thursday, the 6th, I went on 
shore again, and took leave of the family, when, about 
one p.m., a gun was fired, and the " Blue Peter " hoisted, 
and soon after I got on board we got under weigh. 

Friday, 'jtlt. — My dog Erebus was seized with the 
distemper, but the experience gained in Terror's case 
enabled me perhaps to save him, for he recovered. On 
Wednesday, the 1 2th, we saw the lights of Cromer, Has- 
bbrough, Winterton, Newarp, and Cockle Gat, and 
passing outside the sands of Yarmouth Roads, we arrived 
at Woolwich on Friday, the 14th. 

The remarkable nature-sculptured mountain limestone 
hill at the end of this chapter is a facsimile of the moun- 
tain, had the engraver rendered the parts in relief more 
rugged in outline and less artificial. It is situated near 
the entrance to Lancaster Sound. 


( K I . .If 


I t.k k I t t k i 1 itodi? 

'K- Ct m. W ►- 

fe W ^ * 





1) \- 



-^larr I. ,atiz 



" The Forlorn Hope." 


Ul> THB 


IN THE YEAR 1852, 







On Thursday, the 19th of August, 1852, at eleven a.m., 
I succeeded in embarking upon my long-sought and long- 
cherished enterprise, in a whale-boat equipped for a 
month, and manned by half-a-dozen volunteers from her 
Majesty's ship North StaVy lying off Beechey Island. 

Although it could not be otherwise than a source of the 
deepest regret to me that the short season for boating 
operations in these regions was now fast drawing to a 
close, and with it the more sanguine hopes I had 

I \ %\ 






Voyages of Discovery. 


?! : 

entertained of accomplishing the extended exploration I 
had contemplated ere the long polar night set in, yet, 
even in this, the eleventh hour, I was not without a hope of 
at least setting at rest one question relative to the search, 
viz. as to the existence of any available communication 
between Baring Bay and Jones Sound, either by means 
of an opening or narrow isthmus of land, in the direction 
of the position laid down in the Admiralty chart, as the spot 
where a cairn, cooking-place, and footprints, are said to 
have been visited by a whaler ; and have been thought 
by some, most deeply interested in the fate of our lost 
countrymen, to have been traces of their wanderings. 

This object I fully determined to accomplish, if possible, 
either by sea or land, even should the formation of " young 
ice" (so much to be apprehended at this advanced 
period of the season) form such an impediment as to leave 
me no other alternative than to abandon my boat, and 
make my way back to the ship by an overland journey. 

At the very moment I was about taking my departure, 
a sail hove in sight, coming round Cape Riley, which 
proved to be no less interesting an arrival than Lady 
Franklin's own little brigantine, the Prince Albert^ on her 
return from Batty Bay, in Prince Regent's Inlet, where 
she had wintered, without finding any traces of the 
missing expedition. I met her commander, Kennedy, 
and Monsieur Bellot, on the floe as they landed, but so 
anxious was I to make the most of every moment of the 
brief remnant of the season still remaining, that I had 
little time to inquire what they had accomplished. 

After despatching a few hastily-written lines home by 
them, I struck across the ice for the floe-edge, where my 
boat was awaiting me ; and hoisting the sail with a strong 
breeze from the south-west, ran alongside of the Prince 
Albert^ standing off and on between Cape Riley and 
Beechey Island. Hepburn, the faithful follower and 
companion of the gallant Franklin in his ever-memorable 



f ' ff 


t (.' 




Double Innes Point. 


journey along the shores of the Polar Sea, was on board 
this little vessel. I had not seen him since our first 
meeting in Tasmania, on my arrival there — in the very 
same Erebus of which I am now in search — -whilst 
engaged in the Antarctic Expedition, at the time Sir John 
Franklin was governor of the colony. In passing so close 
I could not resist the impulse to jump on board, and 
congratulate this spirited old veteran with a hearty 
shake of the hand on his safe return, thus far, from 
so arduous an undertaking in search of his old com- 

A sudden change in the weather having taken place 
yesterday, accompanied by a heavy fall of snow, covering 
all the hills with one uniform mantle of white, too plainly 
heralding the setting in of winter, rendered my visit 
a very brief one and shoving of? again, we rounded 
Beechey Island in a snowstorm, and were compelled to 
lower the sail and pull through some loose stream ice 
(coming out of the Wellington Channel) to Cape Spencer, 
where we had our dinner of cold bacon and biscuit, at 
two p.m. 

On doubling Innes Point we fell in with a large quan- 
tity of drift ice, setting with the strong current, which runs 
here from the north-west, rapidly down channel, and 
apparently extending across to the opposite shore of 
Cornwallis Land, leaving a narrow passage of open water 
along the North Devon side, which I availed myself of, 
pushing onwards between the Ice and the land. The 
shingie beach, between Innes and Lovell Points, is 
margined by a low glacial formation, giving the latter 
point a white berg-like termination. 

At six p.m. I landed to examine a remarkable conical 
heap of shingle, not unlike a cairn, as it peered above the 
snow. It seemed to have been thrown up at the outlet 
of a watercourse to the sea, the bed of which was now 
dry ; but the cleft in the ridge of rocks through which it 





M ! 

Voyages of Discovery. 

i i'i 


i* } 

passed was roofed over with ice and snow, forming a 
cavern beneath. 

On entering a beautiful grotto disclosed itself, the floor 
glittering with countless globular masses of frozen drops 
of water, and the roof with pendant icicles clear as rock 
crystal. The interior of the cave, which extended to a 
greater distance than I had leisure to follow it up, was so 
encrusted over with these aqueous stalactites and stalag- 
mites, that the whole surface sparkled through the faint 
gleam of light admitted, as brilliantly as if studded with 
huge diamonds. 

The weather suddenly cleared up fine, but the wind 
shifting round to N.N.W., dead against us, hemmed us 
in between the ice and the land within a bight, leaving 
open water in mid-channel, from which we were cut of^by 
a belt of heavy floe-pieces, margined by much sludge, and 
about half a mile in breadth. Our further progress being 
thus arrested, we landed at seven p.m. to take our tea, 
in the hope that by the time that we had finished this 
refreshing repast a passage might have opened out for 
us. At eight p.m., however, the ice was jamming us 
into the curve in the coast closer than ever. I therefore 
determined on making an attempt to force the boat 
through it, by poling her along with the oars and 
boarding-pikes. In this way we succeeded in getting 
about half-way through, when the swell increased so much 
as we neared the margin, and the heavy pressure to which 
the boat was subjected between the larger floe-pieces 
became so great, that we had to haul her up on the ice, 
after taking everything out of her, to preserve her from 
being stove in. We then endeavoured to drag her over 
the larger pieces, with the intention of embarking the 
provisions and other things, as soon as she was launched 
into the loose sludge outside. Whilst thus laboriously 
employed, the making of the flood-tide augmented the 
swell and commotion amongst the floe-pieces so much. 

i ' 





Critical Position in the Flue-ice. 


pressing them together with such violence, that one of 
the largest and thickest pieces on which we had deposited 
our provisions suddenly parted in the centre, threaten- 
ing destruction to everything upon it. It was in a scene 
like this, and not far from the same spot, that the unfor- 
tunate Bellot was drifted away on a floe-piece of ice, and 
lost his life, for want of a boat. 

In this critical position I was reluctantly compelled 
to relinquish the attempt for the present, and fifter land- 
ing everything in safely by means of the sledge, we 
dragged the boat over the floe-pieces and landed her upon 
the beach. It was midnight before we pitched the tent 
for the night on a ridge of shingle, after four hours of 
unceasing, most harassing, and dangerous work, which 
fairly put to the test the capabilities of every one of my 
small party, and fully satisfied me that I could not have 
selected a finer boat's crew for a perilous service, had I 
had the whole Arctic squadron to have picked them 
from. After supper, having set a watch for the night as 
a precaution against a surprise from the bears, whose 
tracks were rather numerous upon the snow on the 
beach, the buffalo robes were spread, and all turned 
into their felt- bags, to enjoy that sound and refreshing 
sleep, which seldom fails to attend on the wearied and 
toil-worn, however hard may be the couch or inclement 
the clime. 

Friday^ 20th. — The spot on which we encamped last 
night is a little to the northward of Lovell Point, all 
around a snowy waste, save and except the narrow 
shingle ridge on which the tent stood, and that was 
bare. The northern sky looked black and threatening, 
not that peculiar dark horizon indicating the presence of 
open water, and hence technically called a water-sky, 
but the lurid appearance preceding bad weather; the 
thermometer during the day rose no higher than 31° 
Fahrenheit. We saw four large flocks of geese all flying 



1 lO 

Voyages of Discovery. 

at a considerable height in their usual angular- shaped 
phalanx, shaping their course for the south, a sure sign 
of winter's near approach. Saw also many dovekies and 
kittiwakes and two seals. 

On emerging from our felt-bags this morning at six 
o'clock, in which, chrysalis-like, we had been encased 
during the night, and quitting the confines of the tent, 
we found that but little change had taken place in the 
scene around us : both ice and weather bore much the 
same aspect. On the outer edge of the ice a heavy surf 
was still breaking, and large floe-pieces had been stranded 
on the beach by the heavy pressure in the night. The 
atmosphere looked gloomy, overcast, and threatening; 
the thermometer had fallen below 29°, and young ice 
formed to the thickness of an inch. After our breakfast 
of cold bacon and biscuit, with chocolate, I took a rough 
sketch of the encampment, and walked for about a mile 
along the beach to the northward, in search of a more 
promising part in the belt of ice for embarkation, but 
found none, even so practicable for the purpose as the 
place of our encampment. 

On my return, therefore, the boat was once more 
launched upon the floe-pieces, which, from the wind 
drawing round more to the westward, had been packed 
closer together in shore ; and at ten a.m., by dint of 
great exertion, we at last succeeded in gaining the outer 
margin ; but it was noon before everything was got into 
the boat, having to make three sledge trips from the 
shore with the provisions and other things. We now 
launched her into the sludgy surf, where, from her being 
so deep in the water, although with only a month's pro- 
visions on board, and this she could barely stow, her 
situation was for a few minutes a very critical one, from 
the risk of being swamped, till by a few lusty strokes of the 
oars, we were swept fairly out of this vortex of sludge 
and water into the open channel, and made sail with a 




i !'' 



• Bi 



Double Cape Bowdcn. 

1 1 1 

fresh breeze for Cape Bowden, going at the rate of about 
five knots an hour. 

In doubling Cape Bowden we had to make a consider- 
able detour^ to avoid a long stream of ice extending from 
it to the distance of several miles; and in running through 
the heavy swell and sludge which skirted it, carried away 
our rudder, through one of the pintles giving way, which, 
on examination, was found to have been defective, and the 
rudder altogether badly fitted. In short, the boat was 
an old one, which had been knocked about in the late 
expeditions, and not well adapted for such an enterprise 
as this. This accident, together with a freshening breeze 
accompanied by thick weather, snow, and sleet, com- 
pelled us to lower the sail at live p.m. I now looked out 
for a spot to beach the boat, under Cape Bowden, a 
perpendicular cliff, rising to the height of upwards of 
500 feet above the level of the sea; but the extremely 
narrow strip of shingle beach at its base was so thickly 
studded with stranded hummocks and berg-pieces of 
ice, on which a heavy surf was breaking, as to render it 
alike impracticable either to haul up the boat or find 
room to pitch the tent afterwards. 

On the north side of Cape Bowden we opened a 
pretty little bay, of semicircular form, most symmetrically 
so, about a mile in breadth at its entrance, and much 
about the same in depth ; bounded on the north by a 
low, narrow peninsula, suddenly rising into, and ter- 
minating in a tabular-topped cape, about 200 feet in 
height, separating it from Griffin Bay. We pulled all 
round the little bay with the intention of encamping 
there for the night, but found the beach everywhere so 
hemmed in with a fringe of grounded hummocks of ice 
lashed by the surf, that not a single opening offered, 
even for running the boat's bow in between them. A 
flock of geese, a number of gulls, and several ravens, 
which we had disturbed in their solitary retreat, took 


' i 


Voyages of Discovery, 

i* ' 

* i 



i 1 

wing on our approach. I gave it the name of Clark 
Bay ; and the headland bounding it to the north, I called 
Cape M'Bain, after two esteemed friends; the former 
being one of the few remaining survivors who shared in 
the glorious battle of Trafalgar, and the latter an old 
voyager to these regions. 

On rounding Cape M'Bain into Griffin Bay, the 
weather became so thick as nearly to conceal the land, 
and we had some difficulty in finding a spot where the 
boat could be beached. After coasting the south side of 
the bay for nearly a mile within the Cape, we at last suc- 
ceeded in hauling her up into a little nook between the 
grounded hummocks with which the whole line of coast 
was thickly strewed. At 6.15 p.m. we pitched the tent 
for the night, between two small shingle ridges, lighted a 
fire, and had tea, with some cold bacon and biscuit. 

Griffin Bay presented a most wild-looking scene of 
desolation ; the surrounding hills were all covered with 
snow ; huge masses of old ice which had been stranded 
by some enormous pressure, lay thickly strewed along 
its shores, in places piled up in chaotic confusion ; and 
the upper part of the bay was full of loose ice, the 
winter's floe having very recently broken up. The 
streams of ice which we met with on our way up channel 
doubtless came out of this and the adjacent bays. 

When about turning into my felt-bag for the night, 
I found it saturated with water, and preferred taking my 
rest on the buffalo robe, without any other covering than 
what the tent alTorded, having a black tarpaulin bag con- 
taining my change of clothes (all thoroughly drenched by 
the seas the boat shipped over her bows) for my pillow. 

Saturday, 21st. — Rose at five a.m., breakfasted, and 
started at six o'clock for the summit of Cape M'Bain, on 
which I found a cairn, containing a small gutta-percha 
case, enclosing a circular printed in red ink on yellow 
tinted paper, dated Tuesday, May 13th, 1851, and stating 



,f: I 


Si'u/i and Horns of a Musk Ox found. \ i ;, 

that a searching party from the Lady FrcDtklin and 
Sof)ln'a, brigs, had left, for emergencies, on the north 
point of the bay, a cache of sixty pounds of bread and 
forty pounds of pemmican. I'Vom the spot on which the 
cairn stands, I took sketches of Capes Bowden and 
Grinnell, and descended on the south side into Clark 
Bay, and whilst examining its shores, I saw an Arctic 
gull and three fine large white hares {Lcpus ir/acialts), 
which, however, were far too shy and wary to allow me 
to approach within ball range of them: both barrels of 
gun being loaded with ball, I discharged one after them, 
which sent them running off at a tremendous rate. 

Returning to our encampment, we struck the tent, 
and after re-embarking everything, made sail with a fair 
wind from the westward at 9.15 a.m., but still the same 
overcast and gloomy aspect of the sky. After we had 
proceeded for some distance, I discovered that a fine 
musk ox [Ovihos moscltatns) skull and horns (evidently 
a bull's from the bases of the horns meeting over the 
forehead), found by two of the boat's crew, on one of the 
ridges above the bay, in a ramble they took last night — 
had been left behind on the beach. This was much to be 
regretted, as the specimen furnished pretty decisive 
evidence that these animals must once have existed here, 
and the probability is that they do so still. It bore 
evident marks of long exposure to the weather, bleached 
white, porous, and time-worn. 

Standing over for Cape Grinnell, we encountered 
■ »iU'' icavy stream of ice, which crossed our course as 

•1' ! rapidly out of Griffin Bay, cutting us off from the 
"iort d we had to get out the oars and pull round it. 
'ur iLidder, which we had made an attempt at repairing, 
again gave way. We passed a shoal of white whales 
{Beluga borealis), and saw the cairn on the point where 
the depot of pro' "ons was left. After taking a sketch 
of the latter, I 1. led about noon upon a narrow shingle 


■-i» -i^iX 


Voyages of Discovery. 


:.'!;■ f 

' w 



1 I 

beach, on which we lighted a fire and cooked a warm 
mess, made of preserved mutton, soup, and potatoes, 
for our dinner. On walking up the ridge to the cairn, 
through a heavy fall of snow, we found the provisions 
gone ; and as there were recent footprints up the side of 
the ridge leading to it, where the melting of the snow 
had left the soil sufficiently soft and plastic to take im- 
pressions, I came to the conclusion that the Assistance 
and Pioneer had taken them on their way up channel. 
Returning to the boat, we shoved of? at three p.m., the 
sun glancing forth a momentary ray through the sur- 
rounding murky atmosphere, as we receded from the 
shore. On rounding the cairn point, we opened another 
•^mall semicircular bay, strikingly resembling Clark Bay 
both in size and form ; and to which I gave the name of 
M'Clintock, after my friend, the distinguished Polar 
traveller, now commander of her Majesty's ship In- 

The coast, along which we had now to pull against a 
fresh northerly breeze, presented a very bold and striking 
aspect. Bluff headlands, rising precipitously from the 
water's edge to the height of 600 feet and upwards, and 
skirted at the base by a narrow belt of shingly beach, 
profusely studded with stranded hummocks of ice. From 
the steep fronts of these magnificent cliffs of the moun- 
tain limestone projected three or more horizontal tiers of 
buttresses in strong relief, the effect of which was much 
heightened by the tiers being bare of snow, and black — 
so contrasted \\ith their white sides as to give them the 
appearance of some frowning and impregnable fortress, 
or imposing battery presented by the broadside of a stately 
three-decker. Between two of these remarkable head- 
lands, another very symmetrical bay opened out, bounded 
on the north by a wild, romantic-looking cape, towering 
upwards with smooth and swelling sides to near its 
summit, and then abruptly breaking up into angular- 


Cape Dellot and Tracks of Dears. 


shaped rocky fragments, forming a rugged, picturesque- 
looking crest, seven or eight hundred feet above the 
level of the sea. To this pretty bay I gave the 
name of Emery, after an old friend ; and to the 
south headland Cape Daniell, after another esteemed 
friend ; both of whom have their names already enrolled 
in the annals of African discovery. To the remark- 
ably crested north headland I have given the name 
of my lamented friend, BellAt (Cape Bellot), he having 
lost his life in its vicinity. I saw the tracks of bears 
and foxes upon the snow along the beach. 

CornvvalHs Land, forming the opposite shore of Wel- 
lington Channel, piebald with snow, loomed dark and 
wildly through the mist, at the distance of between 
twenty and thirty miles, yet I could distinctly make out 
the point forming its north-eastern extremity. Passed 
several white whales, a seal or two, and several large 
flocks of geese, the whole migrating to the south, a few 
dovekies {Uria grylle)^ fulmar petrel {Procellaria gla- 
ciah's), glaucous and kittiwake gulls. 

At six p.m., observing a cairn on a low ridge of shingle, 
I ran the boat in between the grounded hummocks of ice 
on the point. Landed and found a tin cylinder contain- 
ing a notice that the Assisiatice and Pioneer had passed 
on Sunday morning last at ten o'clock, bound to Baillie 
Hamilton Island—" all well." 

From this we had a very prolonged and fatiguing pull 
along a most dreary line of coast, closely packed with 
grounded hummocks. The breeze increased to a fresh 
gale, accompanied by sleet and snow ; the thermometer 
28° ; air cold and pinching, and the whole of the land 
more deeply covered with snow than any that we had 
yet passed. The horizon to the north looked black and 
threatening, and a faint pinkish streak of light seemed to 
give an additional air of wildness to its aspect. The 
night, too, was fast closing in, with no prospect before 


i I '■ 

« Ifi 

' ^i 



i 1 




Vo)'ages of Discovery 




us of the smallest nook where we could haul up the boat 
in safety till the morning. A long way ahead of us three 
bold capes appeared in the distance ; the nearest, a 
remarkably black-looking one, prominently jutting out 
from the snow-clad ridges flanking it on either side. 
Aground off it was a large mass of ice of fantastic shape, 
rising from the sea by a narrow neck and then expanding 
out into the form of an urn, appearing as if filled with 
white foam rising above the brim in a convex form. A 
long stream of ice was seen extending out from the 
Black Cape, which led me to hope that we should find a 
bay on the other side of it out of which the ice had 
drifted, and a place of refuge for the night, for my boat's 
crew were fairly worn out by pulling for so many hours 
against a head-sea and strong current (running here, at 
times, five or six knots an hour), and exposed to such 
inclement weather. 

In passing a low shingle ridge, before we reached the 
black headland, a cairn upon it caught my eye through 
the dark gloom in which it was enveloped, and although 
an ice-girt lee shore upon which a heavy surf was setting, 
I felt that it was my duty to attempt a landing to examine 
it. The boat's head was therefore at once directed for 
the shore, and run in between two heavy grounded masses 
of ice, leaving just room enough for her bows to enter ; 
the ridge of shingle was too steep to haul her up, or I 
should gladly have encamped there for the night, un- 
favourable as was the spot for pitching our tent. We 
had to walk along the ridge over snow, in some places 
very deep, before we reached the cairn, and, to our great 
disappointment, after pulling it down and carefully 
examining the ground beneath and round it, found no 
record whatever. It was a small pile of rocks resembling 
a surveying mark, but when and by whom erected no 
clue was left upon which to form a conjecture. We saw 
here recent tracks of bears and foxes on the snow. 





1 i ''■ 


1 nMI 

f' iwl sill 

1 '|;5n™| 

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1 iUlH 



: , 

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Bay of Refuge, or McCormick Day. 


Returning to our boat, after some difficulty in embarking 
in the swell, the crew, to whom I had given a little brandy 
each, pulled under its temporary influence with renewed 
vigour for the Black Cape, 

That harbinger of the storm, the stormy petrel or 
Mother Carey's chicken {Procellaria pelagtca), the first 
I have seen during this voyage to the Arctic regions, 
flew past the boat, and I fired at it, but missed it, the 
boat rolling at the moment too heavily in the swell for 
taking anything like an aim. We at last rounded the urn 
of ice and pulled through the stream, passing between 
and very close to several huge hard-washed blue masses 
of ice aground, on which a foaming surf was breaking, 
and the boat pitched and rolled so much in the ground 
swell as to ship a good deal of water, compelling us to 
bale her out. 

On rounding the black headland we entered, as I had 
anticipated, a fine bay, between three and four miles 
deep ; but after pulling for some distance along its wild- 
looking inaccessible southern shore without finding a 
nook where we could hope to get the boat's head in, 
being a lee shore, ice-girt, on which a dangerous surf was 
breaking, we had to pull across to the opposite side, a 
distance of two miles, the shore of which appeared in the 
form of low shingle ridges, giving promise of a beach on 
which we might haul up the boat in safety, as well as a 
dry ridge, free from snow, for pitching the tent. At first 
we rowed over a very shallow bottom, upon which the 
pebbles were distinctly seen, in a heavy giound-swell, 
but as we neared the north side got into deeper water. 
It was half an hour past midnight when we at last suc- 
ceeded in hauling up the boat on the beach between 
some berg-pieces, which had been forced up by some 
vast pressure above the ordinary high-water mark. 

Whilst some of the crew were employed in getting the 
things out of the boat, and securing her for the night, 



Voyages of Discovery. 

fi I 

'! ; I 


and others pitching the tent on the shingle ridge above 
the beach, which on landing I had selected for the site, 
the cook for the day lighted the fire, and prepared supper. 
I strolled with my gun along the ridge round the north 
point, where huge berg-pieces were piled up one upon 
another in chaotic confusion to the height of from twenty 
to thirty feet by some tremendous pressure, occasioned, 
doubtless, by high spring-tides and heavy north-westerly 

The strong breeze we had been pulling against had 
now increased to a hard gale of wind from the same 
quarter, accompanied by an overwhelming snow-drift. 
Thermometer 28°, and piercingly cold, — altogether a 
dismal night. So that we had encamped none too soon, 
for our frail boat could not possibly have lived in the sea 
that was now running outside. Therefore I called the 
inlet the Bay of Refuge, the black headland I named 
Cape King, and to the north point I gave the name of 
Pirn, after two enterprising Polar friends, both well known 
for their enthusiasm in Arctic discovery, and their plans 
for the rescue of our missing countrymen, in the search 
for whom Lieutenant Pim, like myself, is embarked in 
the present expedition. 

On my return to the place of our encampment, I 
•' spliced the main brace," that is, served out extra 
rations, in the present instance, of bacon and Burton 
ale, to the boat's crew for their supper, after their long 
day of toil anfl exposure. It was 2.30 a.m. before we 
turned into our felt-bags for the night. Mine was, how- 
ever, still wet, and I lay down on the buffalo rug as on 
the preceding night. 

Sunday, 22nd. — Having retired to rest late last night, 
or rather early this morning, we did not rise until 
10.30 a.m. It was still blowing a hard north-westerly 
gale, with snow-drift and overcast thick weather; so 
bilingly cold was the air within the tent, that sleeping, as 


Asceiii of Rogicr I had. 


I always do, at thu weather end, where the wind blows in 
under the canvas, my hands felt quite benumbed through- 
out the night, from their having been exposed, in the 
absence of my felt-bag covering. I shaved for the first 
time since leaving the ship, and made my toilet under the 
lee of the boat. After our customary breakfast of choco- 
late, cold bacon, and biscuit, I took from my pocket a 
little prayer-book, which had been my companion years 
gone by to both the Poles, North and South, and round 
the world, from which I read to my boat's crew part of the 
morning service, finishingwith a short, extemporary prayer, 
which suggested itself at the moment, as best fitting the 

At 12.30 I left the tent, accompanied by three of my 
men, for the summit of Rogier Head — which I named 
after an old friend who had been engaged in African dis- 
covery — a bold, craggy promontory, about 500 feet in 
height, overhanging the sea, and about three miles distant 
from our encampment. Our course lay over some snow- 
clad ridges up a gradual ascent. At 1.45 p.m. we reached 
the summit, from which a wide and wild scene of desola- 
tion met the gaze ; whichever way the eye was directed a 
grand and sublime spectacle presented itself, to which the 
fury of the tempest lent an awful interest. 

Beneath the precipitous face of the overhanging crag 
on which I was seated, the surf was furiously lashing the 
narrow strip of black shingle beach at its base, margined 
by a belt of shallow water, the limits of which were well- 
defined by a turbid greenish appearance, contrasting 
strongly with the dark, very dark, blue colour of the water 
beyond. Along the edge of this zone of shoal water 
countless white whales were swimming down channel, 
literally speaking, in a continuous stream. Amongst 
them, here and there, one of a piebald colour ; and some- 
times the back of a straggler or two appearing in the 
discoloured water itself ; all, doubtless, migrating to less 

i ! 


! ■ ■ ■ 

!' ' 

' ! 





1 i 




I 20 

Voyages of Discovery. 

rigorous seas, whilst open water afforded them a passage 
to the southward Overhead a solitary kittiwake {Lanis 
tridactylus) hovered with uplifted wing, as it breasted the 
violent gusts of wind that at intervals swept past, driving 
along dense volumes of mist from the mysterious north, 
which came rolling over the dark surface of the channel, 
on the opposite side of which the bleak and barren snow- 
streaked cliffs of Connvallis Land bounded the horizon 
to the westward, terminating in a black point forming its 
north-eastern extremity, about the position of Cape De 
Haven, half concealed in gloom and mist. To the north- 
westward Baillie Hamilton Island loomed like a dark bank 
of clouds above the horizon : three or four glistening 
patches of white light, reflected upon the surface of the 
dark water t'orough some hidden aperture in the clouds, 
shone with the brightness of molten silver amid the 
surrounding lurid atmosphere, rendering the whole scene 
altogether a fit subject for the pencil of a Claude. We 
commenced our descent of the mountain at 2.30 p.m., 
and having taken as careful a survey of the vicinity of 
our encampment as the thick and unfavourable state of 
the weather would permit of, reached the tent at 3.30 p.m., 
without finding any cairn or traces of any one having 
landed here before us. Only the tracks of a bear and fox 
on the snow were seen. This morning, on starting, a 
small piece of drift wood was picked up above the present 
high-water mark ; and last night another musk ox skull 
was found by some of the boat's crew. It was the skull 
of a cow, the horns being small, and a space between 
their bases on the forehead, and not in such a good state 
of preservation as the last. This gives me sanguine hopes 
that I may yet fall in with the living animal itself before 
the winter drives us back to the ship. Discouraging as 
there is no denying our present prospects certainly are, 
we must at all hazards solve the Baring Bay problem 
first. On reaching the ten! we found dinner all ready, 


i ' ;''j 


s '.] 




■" *; 

iiii 111 





' l: 

: 1-1 

1 ! 

! ; r- 

■" i 

1 ' ! i 


1 s 


Double Cape Osboni. 


and a warm mess of preserved mutton very acceptable. 
A dismal night ; thermometer 25°. 

Monday^ 2'^rd. — It blew in heavy squalls all last night. 
About nine o'clock this morning, however, a lull taking 
place, I resolved to make an attempt to reach Baring Bay 
as soon as the sea should sufficiently go down for launch- 
ing the boat. After breakfast we erected a cairn on the 
low shingle ridge where the tent stood, and deposited 
beneath it a tin cylinder containing a record of our visit. 
The upper extremity of the bay was still covered with 
the smooth winter's floe, which had not yet broken up. 

"Memo.— A boat expedition from H.M.S. North 
Star, at Erebus and Terror Bay, Beechey Island, in search 
of Sir John Franklin, enca.nped here at 12.30 a.m. on 
Sunday, the 22nd of August, during a gale of wind, and 
left for Baring Bay on .ne following morning at 10.30. 
No traces found. 

" R. McCORMiCK, Officer Commanding Party. 
" Atigiist 2n^rd, 1852." 

At 10.45 a.m., as we were about to start, I shot a sand- 
piper {Tringa maritiinn) on the beach. On rounding 
the outer point we found a considerable swell outside, 
with a strong breeze to pull against ; passing Rogier 
Head, the headland we ascended yesterday, and another 
adjoining promontory, we had to contend with a short 
head-sea, in a deeply-laden boat, with a damaged rudder 
almost useless, compelling us at times to use a steer-oar 
in addition to keep her head to the sea, along as dreary 
and desolate a looking coast as I ever recollect having 
seen in these regions. The land appeared like a vast 
wreath of deep snow banked up against the horizon, its 
continuity broken only by deep gullies in one or two places, 
with not the smallest bight or indentation along its ice- 
encumbered shores, on which a heavy surf was breaking, 
where a boat could find shelter during a gale of wind. 

After a most laborious pull of four hours we reached 

1 v\ 



I I.P ' 


Voyages of Discovery. 

t 111! 

the steep and almost perpendicular ridge of Cape Osborn, 
a bold headland of rounded form, white with snow, 
excepting where a dark blotch appeared just below its 
summit, formed by the bare rock of the projecting but- 
tresses. This cape may be considered the northernmost 
boundary of Wellington Strait, which here expands out 
into the broader Queen's Channel At 1.45 p.m. we 
passed a very remarkable isolated mass of rock, rising 
abruptly from the steep face of this ridge about one- third 
from the summit. 

It bore a striking resemblance to the bust of a human 
figure of burly form, and habited in a cloak and cap ; 
the horizontal layers of limestone rock, of which it is 
composed, being so arranged as to give the cloak a caped 
appearance ; a slab of the limestone in front of the figure, 
fancy might liken to a book. This singular specimen 
of sculpture from the hands of nature, worked out of 
the rock by the united chisels of time and weather 
removing the softer portions and leaving the harder stand- 
ing forth in strong relief — I transferred a facsimile of it 
to my sketch-book under the name of " Franklin's 
Beacon," whose attention it could not fail to attract, 
pointing as it does to those unknown and unexplored 
regions which lie beyond, around the Northern Pole, 
untrodden by the foot of man since creation's dawn, 
and in the deep recesses of wlJcli, doubtless, lies hidden 
his mysterious fate, of which our search, thus far, 
unhappily has failed to elicit the slightest trace. 

At four p.m. we doubled Cape Osborn, on the north 
side of which a huge pile of dirty yellow-looking old 
berg-pieces of ice lay aground in the turbid greenish shoal 
water which skirts the coast all the way to Baring Bay, 
extending out from the hummock-fringed beach to the 
distance of a mile or two and upwards, and along which 
a heavy ground-swell sets upon the shore in a succession 
of long rollers, through which it would have been utterly 
hopeless for any boat to have attempted reaching the 

1 ' 

^l .^^ 





'■ M -'I 

IM. I; 






1 v'inri 



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L 1 hi! 
ilii' ^i 

k . A 


Perilous Position of the " Forlorn Hope." 123 

land in safety. The coast from Cape Osborn trending 
round to the N.E. brought the wind more aft, enabling us 
to make sail, and for some time we made considerable 
progress, dashing through the heavy cross sea that was 
running at the rate of five or six knots an hour. Having 
the breeze with us now, the only chance left us was to 
run the gauntlet for Baring Bay, in the hope of finding 
there some haven of shelter after rounding Point Eden, 
which still appeared at a fearful distance ahead of us ; 
and the long line of foaming crests sweeping over the 
broad expanse of troubled waters which lie between, 
threatening to engulf our small frail bark ere we reached 
it. When we had got about midway between Cape 
Osborn and this point our situation became a truly 
perilous one ; the boat was taking in water faster than 
we could bale it out, and she was settling down so much 
as not to leave a streak free ; labouring and rising heavily 
and sluggishly to each successive sea, so that all expected 
every moment that she would fill and go down the first 
sea that struck her, from which only the most careful 
and watchful attention to the helm preserved her. For- 
tunately for us, at this critical moment, two small bergs 
aground providentially appeared on the port-bow, and I 
immediately ran for them, in the hope of finding the 
water smooth enough under their lee to enable us, by 
lowering the sail and lying on our oars, to thoroughly 
bale out all the water from the boat, which was now 
nearly full ; in this we happily succeeded whilst lying 
only a few feet from the bergs in comparatively quiet 
water, protected by their blue hard washed sides from 
the seas which broke over them to windward, rebounding 
upwards in foaming columns of serf and spray, which 
dashed high above their summits from forty to fifty feet 
in height, presenting a wild scene, at once grand, sublime, 
and awful. 

On again making sail our small over-laden skifif, no 
longer water-logged, bounded onwards over every sea 




T — r r^ 


I ' r 


Voyages of Discovery. 

li if 

> !<; 

tJ if ' 

t I'l: I 

!. S 

more freely and buoyanfiy than before ; but as we opened 
Baring Bay, the great body of water which was setting 
into it from the broad expanse of the Queen's Channel, 
with the wind and current both from the N.W., caused 
such heavy rolling seas to tumble in upon the shore, that 
our crippled rudder was entirely swept away, and we had 
great difficulty in steering with an oar a boat so deep in 
such a sea ; and had to get one out on each quarter to 
keep her head to the sea and prevent her broaching to, 
when nothing could have saved her from foundering 

The shores all round this bay presented a perfectly 
flat surface, level with the floe, — which still, though 
broken up, filled the upper part of it, — and extending to 
a considerable distance inland, bounded by a slightly 
undulating ridge of hills in the horizon, averaging, 
perhaps, 150 feet in height. But one point in these 
inhospitable shores seemed to offer the faintest hope of a 
place of shelter. This was a black mount on the south 
side, of somewhat conical form, having a truncated 
summit, with shingle ridges in front ; and from its 
marked and conspicuous appearance amid the wide sur- 
rounding waste of snow, had particularly attracted my 
attention from our first opening the bay, as it appeared 
to me the only spot accessible for ice. It was flanked 
on the west by an inlet, still covered by the winter's floe. 
On this spot I had from the first centred all my hopes 
of finding a harbour of refuge. Putting the boat, there- 
fore, right before the wind, I ran for it through a turbulent 
ground-swell, over a long extent of several miles of shoal 
water of a dirty green colour, showing the fragments of 
rock and pebbles at the bottom on nearing the shore, 
when two points for beaching the boat offered ; one 
on the port bow, forming a curious natural basin of 
quadrangular shape, enclosed on all sides by a narrow 
ledge of black rocks and shingle, excepting in front, 










• i ■■} 



1 1; 


Run before the Wind for the Black Mount. 


where an opening was left just large enough to admit the 
boat. Into this, being the nearest, my boat's crew were 
very anxious to take her, thoroughly worn out as they 
were by a day of unceasing toil and danger, amid which 
their cool and manly conduct was beyond all praise. 
And on losing the rudder and tiller, with which I always 
myself steered the boat, the ice quartermaster especially 
proved himself an expert hand at the steer oar at a 
moment when we were obliged to have one out on each 
quarter to keep the boat's head to the heavy cross sea 
that was running, to prevent her from broaching to. I 
objected, however, to the little land-locked harbour for 
the boat, on the ground of the chance of being entrapped 
within it by a change of wind bringing the ice down upon 
it, and thus preventing us from so readily getting out 
again ; and also from the low, boggy ground, exposed 
on all sides to the weather, being unfavourable for pitching 
the tent. I therefore stood on for the Black Mount, 
ahead, and was fortunate enough to find at its base a 
sloping beach for hauling up the boat between some 
grounded hummocks of ice, backed by a shingle ridge, 
dry and free from snow, on which we pitched the tent at 
eight p.m., sheltered by another ridge still higher, above 
which rose the Black Mount. I ascended this eminence, 
whilst the boat's crew were lighting the fire and getting 
supper ready. From its summit I saw the ice closely 
packed all round the bay by the wind now blowing up it, 
and that this was the only spot where a boat could pos- 
sibly have found a place of shelter along the whole line of 
coast, from the bay we left this morning to as far as the eye 
could reach beyond us to the northward, rendering the 
navigation of the Wellington Channel extremely dan- 
gerous for boats at a late and boisterous season of the 
year. I saw a flock Oi geese on the passage here, and 
another arose from a lake on our arrival. A small frag- 
ment of drift wood was picked up on the hill. After 


'1 'W 








•^ llU 12.2 



1.25 1.4 III 1.6 











WnSTIR.N.Y. I4S30 
















Voyages of Discovery. 

spreading all our wet clothes on the shingle to dry, 
everything in the boat having been drenched with sea 
water, we had tea and preserved beef for supper, and 
turned in at midnight, truly thankful to God for our 
providential escape. Thermometer 27°. 

When running under the lee of the berg- pieces aground, 
at the height of the gale a solitary stormy petrel hovered 
over the wild scene of spray and foam high above the 
bergs, recalling to memory the extent of those little 
cosmopolites' migrations from pole to pole, having met 
with them as far south as the Great Barrier, suggested 
to me the following lines : — 



Pretty wanderer of the ocean, 
Ever found in constant motion, 
Brief must be thy rest and slee]) 
On the bosom of the deep. 

Skimming in the wake or lee 
Of the lone ship on every sea ; 
Where blows the steady tropic breeze 
'i o where the polar oceans freeze. 

I've seen thee on the Antarctic sea, 
Beneath the mighty Barrier's lee ; 
Up Wellington's arctic channel, too, 
When searching for lost F'"ranklin's: crew. 

Without a compass for thy guide 
Thou o'er the waste of waters glide, 
By some magnetic influence led, 
Doubtless, onwards thou hast sped 

But restless rover as thou art, 
Nature will her laws assert, 
And claim from thee a parent's care 
Once in each revolving year ; 

When thou must seek some desert isle. 
To lay thy egg and sit awhile, 
Until thy callow brood appear 
For thee to feed, for thee to rear. 


/In Excursion along Sfiorv. i 27 

This duty o'er, again thou'rt free 
To wander o'er thy much-loved sea, 
And teach thy young what course to steer 
Under ihy parental care. 

Far-distant regions to explore, 
Known to thy ancestors of yore ; 
E'en to the poles thy course may lay. 
Following the bright orb of d.iy. 

Tuesday, 2^th. — Breakfasted at 8.30 a.m. As it was 
still blowing a north-wes*;erly gale, preventing our 
attempting anything further with the boat, I started at 
11.30 a.m., accompanied by one of the boat's crew, on 
an excursion along shore, with the view of ascertaining 
the state of the ice, and selecting the best route for 
sledging round the top of the bay, should a continuance 
of the present boisterous weather render boating opera- 
tions wholly impracticable. 

On passing a small lake about a quarter of a mile from 
the encampment, we saw two eider d\icVs{Anas mollissima) 
with eight young ones swimming on it. I shot the whole 
of the brood and one of the old ducks ; the other made 
its escape. Our course at first lay over flat, swampy, 
boggy ground covered with snow, through which a few 
straggling tufts of moss, lichens, saxifrages, poppies, and 
a small species of juncas made their appearance at 
intervals ; the whole intersected by very low narrow 
ridges of shingle, and a chain of small lakes. The 
winter's floe had all the appearance of having been 
recently broken up by the late gales setting a heavy 
swell into the bay, which had ground it into fragments 
and hummocks mixed with sludge. A thick fog coming 
on," accompanied by snow-drift sweeping over the bay 
from the northward, and concealing the outline of its 
shores, I struck across the low land for the ridge which 
bounds it inland, passing several isolated masses of rock, 



Voyages of Discovery. 

\ I 

which, as they appeared through the snow at a distance, 
so much resembled piles of stones artificially heaped up, 
that, dw^elling as our thoughts constantly did on cairns 
and memorials, we were frequently — until the eye became- 
familiar with these deceptions — induced to diverge from 
our course to examine them. On ascending the ridge 
we followed it back to the head of the inlet (south of 
our encampment), which is nearly two miles deep, and 
narrow at its entrance, being not more than about a 
quarter of a mile in breadth, but expanding out to double 
that width. We walked round several lakes on the ridge 
of hills, and heard the monotonous, mournful cry of the 
red-throated divers {Coly tubus septentrionait's) in the 
vicinity, but the fog had become so thick as to conceal 
them from view. On descending from the ridge down a 
terminal black cliff inland of the tent we had to make 
head against the gale, which drove the cutting snow- drift 
in our faces, with the thermometer at 29°. We reached 
the encampment at five p.m., having only had a shot at 
a tern, and seen the track of a fox. The ice quarter- 
master and another of the boat's crew returned soon 
after us from a ramble round the other side of the inlet, 
having found the skeleton of a bear. 

Wednesday, 25M. — Rose at six a.m. ; no improvement 
in the weather ; a quantity of sludge ice driven in shore, 
which was fast beginning to be cemented together by 
the formation of young ice, forming an impassable belt 
for our boat, in front of the encampment. Still too 
thick and boisterous for boating or sledging. After 
breakfast I visited the small lake again, and shot three 
ducks out of a flock of eight young pintails {Anas cau- 
dacuta). After my return to the tent with them, one 
of the boat's crew killed the remaining five. We had 
some of them for dinner, and found them excellent eat- 
ing. Saw two or three sandpipers, and wounded an 
Arctic gull {Lestns pafasiticus), but notwithstanding that 

Prepare the Sledge with Four Days' Provisions. 1 29 

the thumb, or tip of the wing, was broken, it succeeded 
in getting away. 

I walked afterwards to the top of the west inlet, 
accompanied by two of my party, in search of the remains 
of the skeleton of the bear, they having, on first finding it, 
brought back with them the skull and pelvis. After a long 
search we at last hit upon the spot where a rib was project- 
ing from the snow, beneath which we found most of the 
vertebrae, deeply imbedded in the richest bed of moss we 
had yet seen, the result, doubtless, of the manure arising from 
the decomposition of the animal's carcase ; although, from 
the bleached appearance and honeycombed state of the 
bones, a long series of winter snows would seem to have 
mantled over them since Bruin dragged his huge, unwieldy 
frame a few yards above the head of the inlet to breathe 
his last on terra Jirma, whether in sickness or old age, 
to become food for the foxes, who had rendered the skele- 
ton incomplete by walking off with most of the ribs and 
long bones to feast off at their leisure. All that remained 
I collected, and we returned to the tent through a 
heavy hail-storm and densely overcast sky, with thick 
mist, and the thermometer at 25°. Saw some red-throated 
divers on one of the largest lakes, two tern, and the track 
of a fox. In the afternoon, the wind shifting round to 
the westward, and the weather somewhat moderating, 
though still very squally, I set about making prepara- 
tions for our sledging journey, the wind now setting 
directly up the bay, packing the ice so close as to 
render any attempt with the boat utterly hopeless. 
Having stowed the sledge with four days' provisions, vvc 
dug a trench and made a cache of the remainder of our 
provisions, filling it up with shingle as a protection against 
the bears during our absence. The boat was hauled up 
on the second ridge on which the tent stood, and turned 
bottom up, with the gear and spare clothes stowed under- 
n(.'ath, as a precaution against high tides, which might 





V i 



Voyages of Discovery. 

probably rise higher than usual under the influence of 
heavy westerly gales. 

Thursday, 26th. — I was stirring at three a.m. Morn- 
ing gloomy and overcast, with snow. Wind round to the 
eastward and moderated. Thermometer 24°. Walked 
down to the lake where I shot the ducks ; it had frozen 
over during the night ; took a sketch of the encampment 
from it. Three or four snow-buntings {Emberisa nivalis) 
were flitting about on the ridge above the tent, saluting 
us with their lively, cheerful note. Yesterday a red- 
throated diver was shot on one of the lakes by one of our 
party. At five a.m. I roused out the boat's crew, and we 
had our chocolate, biscuit, and bacon breakfast. 

The progressive fall in the temperature, with the rapid 
formation of young ice, together with the boisterous 
north-westerly gales, which had packed the broken-up 
winter's floe upon the shore in front of our tent, forming 
a belt of hummocks and sludge half a mile in breadth, 
and daily increasing in extent, cutting us off from the open 
water, and requiring only a few calm days to cement 
it all together, and render the present position of the boat 
inextricable, were unmistakable signs that the season for 
boating operations was past ; and so soon as a southerly 
wind from off the land should drive the ice out, no time 
was to be lost in getting her into the open channel. All, 
therefore, that now remained to be done was to complete 
the exploration of this bay by an overland journey. 

Sledge Excursion round Baring Bay. — Having 
struck the tent, and stowed it on the sledgi.. with our 
felt bags, buffalo robes, four days' provisions, and an 
" Etna " with spirits of wine for fuel, we started at eight 
a.m. ; reached the first low rocky point in the curve of 
the bay, two miles distant, at nine a.m. Our course lay 
over the low snow-clad ridges of shingle. From this our 
encampment hill and boat bore north (magnetic), but 
here the variation is so great as almost to reverse the 

j M 

nfluence of 

.m. Morn- 
ound to the 
\ Walked 
had frozen 
'/^-^ nivalis) 
:nt, saluting 
•day a red- 
y one of our 
rew, and we 

th the rapid 


J broken-up 

ent, forming 

in breadth, 

pm the open 

; to cement 

of the boat 

e season for 

a southerly 

)ut, no time 

innel. All, 

o complete 


— Having 
L. with our 
ns, and an 
ed at eight 
e curve of 
course lay 
m this our 
netic), but 
everse the 






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11 i 


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«! n 1 

pa ( 

'1 1 

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1 ■ 



Sledge Excursion across Baring Bay. 


points of the compass. At 9.30 a.m. we struck off more 
inland, in the direction of the ridge of hills, to avoid a 
curve of the bay, crossing over a level tract of marshy 
bog, covered with snow, on which one of the party picked 
up a small spider. At 10.15 a.m. crossed a rivulet over 
a pebbly bed, from which some animal was seen on one 
of the shingle ridges, but at too great a distance to make 
out whether it was a bear or reindeer, as it disappeared 
behind the ridge before I could get my telescope to bec;i 
upon it. Crossed another running stream, rapidly flow- 
ing over its pebbly channel (towards the bay), across 
which the sledge was carried. I made a considerable 
detour here in pursuit of the stranger, without seeing 
anything more of him, and overtook the sledge upon a 
broad, smooth, snow-clad plain, the monotonous white- 
ness of which was only broken by the narrow bare ridges 
and spits of shingle, which intersected its surface like 
shaded lines, scarcely rising above it. At eleven a.m. 
my party being somewhat fatigued with this, to them, 
novel work (and dragging a sledge over the inequalities 
of land, covered with snow though it be, is a far more 
laborious task than over floe ice), they had a spell often 
minutes to rest, and take their allowance of rum, mixed 
with the pure water from an adjacent lake. Saw two 
sandpipers here, and the track of a reindeer {Cervtis 
tarandus), probably that of the animal we lately had a 
glance of. At 1 1.30 a.m. reached the head of the curve 
of the bay we had been steering for ; it contained a large 
patch of loose ice, a low point jutting out from it to the 
S.E. Point Eden bore N. from this. Passed two small 
lakes, and heard the cry of the red-throated diver. 
About noon the breeze died away to nearly a calm, and 
the men were so heated by their exertions that they took 
a spell for a few minutes. I saw the land on the oppo- 
site side of the Queen's Channel, bearing E.S.E. At 
one p.m. a portion of the spine of some animal was picked 

K 2 




Voyages of Discovery. 




\ i 



up ; saw two more sandpipers, and passed another lake. 
The breeze springing up again, in less than an hour had 
freshened to a gale, accompanied by a sharp snow-drift, 
which swept like volumes of smoke over the wide waste 
around us to the sea, which was scattered over with 
streams of hummocky ice. We rested for an hour to 
dine, on the side of a low shingle-ridge, having the bay 
in front, a lake on either side, and another in the rear, 
from which we drank delicious water, with our cold 
bacon and biscuit meal. Started again at three p.m. ; I 
shot a tern {^Sterna arcticd) near a small gap or pass, in 
an embankment here, skirting the bay. At 4.15 p.m. 
Point Eden bore N.N.W., and a peak of the land on the 
opposite side of Wellington Channel, S.E. 

At 5.30 p.m. filled our kettle with water from a neigh- 
bouring lake, and having boiled it over the spirit lamp 
of the "Etna," made tea under the lee of the sledge, 
in the midst of this wilderness of snow. Cape Osborn 
with Eden Point bore N.N.W. At 6.30 p.m. started 
again, and at seven p.m. when some distance ahead of 
the sledge, pioneering the way, as was my custom, I 
came suddenly upon the track of the musk ox, close to 
one of those numerous running streams, by which the 
chain of lakelets studding these marshy flats empty 
themselves into the bay. The animal appears to have 
attempted crossing over the frozen surface of the stream, 
but finding that the ice, which was broken by his two 
fore-feet, would not bear his weight, retreated, crossing 
his own track in the direction of the hills bounding the 
horizon to the southward. From the appearance of the 
footprints (which measured five inches, both in length 
and in breadth) it must have passed very recently, as 
there was a driving snow-drift at the time, which would 
soon have effaced the impressions. These footprints, 
when taken in connection with the two skulls recently 
found, afford, I think, indisputable evidence that the 


another lake, 
an hour had 
•p snow-drift, 
i wide waste 
ed over with 

an hour to 
•'ing the bay 

in the rear, 
th our cold 
hree p.m. ; I 
p or pass, in 

^t 4.«5 P-m. 
land on the 

om a neigh- 
spirit lamp 
the sledge, 
'ape Osborn 
p.m. started 
e ahead of 
custom, I 
Dx, close to 
which the 
lats empty 
irs to have 
the stream, 
by his two 
;d, crossing 
unding the 
ince of the 
I in length 
ecently, as 
hich would 
Is recently 
; that the 






JUack Pohtt ahead. 


musk ox is an inhabitant of North Devon, at liast during 
the summer months, and is, probably, now migrating to 
the southward for the winter. But their course thither- 
ward, and how they get across Barrow Strait, is not so 
easily explained ; they must, at all events, wait till the 
strait is frozen over. 

The black point, with its rounded snowy top, in 
which the ridge of hills environing the bay terminates 
to the northward, and which we have had in sight so 
many hours as the goal to be reached before w«; 
pitched the tent for the night, has for several miles 
appeared at the same distance, or, as the sledge's 
crew would have it, receding, as mile after mile, with 
weary and jaded steps, they toiled along, dragging 
after them the cumbrous sledge, and si ill the 
dark point appeared no nearer. Fairly exhausted, they 
were compelled to take more frt;quent spells to nist 
for a few minutes. The night, however, looked so 
threatening, the northern sky intensely black and 
lowering — premonitory signs of the wind going back to 
its old stormy quarter — that I was very anxious to 
secure the shelter of the point ahead for pitching the 
tent under ; as in the exposed, wide, and bleak waste 
around us, the canvas and poles supporting it would 
scarcely have withstood the violence of the strong 
gusts of wind. 

The dark sky was preceded by a very remarkably- 
tinted horizon in the north, in which streaks of a fine 
olive-green, alternating with bands of an amber 
colour, and a rich chestnut-brown zone, intersected 
horizontally ; the side of the hills about Prince Alfred 
Bay, crested by a dark neutral tint, vanishing into a 
leek-green. When within about a mile of the point, 
to encourage my sledge-crew and convince them that 
we were in reality now drawing near it, I walked on 
ahead at a quickened pace and ascended to the sum- 




Voyages of Discovery. 



\, I: 

mit ; and, on descending again to the extreme rugged 
point, I found them pitching the tent on the shingle- 
ridge beneath. It was exactly midnight, and thick 
weather with finci snow. A fire was soon lighted, tea 
jjrepared, and bacon and biscuit served out for supper. 
It was nearly two o'clock in the morning befor?^ we 
turned in, all thoroughly knocked up with the day's 

Friday, 2'jtli. — Morning overcast; I left the tent at 
eight a.m., and whilst breakfast was preparing, ascended 
the rugged point above our encampment to get a view 
of our position. At first scrambled over a confused 
pile of rocky fragments, swelling out above into a broad, 
smooth, and round-backed hill about 300 feet in height, 
commanding a view of the shores of the curve of the 
coast to the northward of it, laid down in the chart as 
Prince Alfred Bay ; an isolated peak, apparently some 
little distance inland, just showing itself over the highest 
range of hills on the north side ; this ridge terminating 
in two black table-topped, bluff headlands, running far 
out to the westward ; but the horizon was too hazy for 
making out distant objects sufficiently clear for getting 
the different bearings correctly, which, as this spot pro- 
mised tc be the extreme limit of our journey, I was the 
more anxious to obtain before I commenced my return, 
more especially as the sun had been hid from our view 
by fogs, mists, and constantly overcast skies, accom- 
panying the tempestuous weather which has attended us 
in all our movements since we left the ship ; so that no 
opportunity has offered for getting observations for the 
latitude and longitude, and con<?equently my little pocket 
sextant has remained idle in its case. 

In the hope that the weather might clear up about 
noon, I returned to the tent to breakfast, having seen 
only about half a dozen snow-buntings flitting about the 
hill-top. My party were glad to take a siesta in the ten 


It the 

\ A 

I' 1^ 



I 11 ' ' 

1 ^ 






I i 


' i' 

''I j 

; tt < I 
i jB - (v 

Reach the Point I named after Professor Owen. 135 

to-day, so knocked up were they after their laborious and 
toilsome forced march of yesterday, dragging a heavily- 
laden sledge over a distance of about thirty miles, having 
actually travelled this within the space of sixteen hours 
at the average rate of rather more than two miles in an 
hour, resting for dinner and tea an hour at each meal ; 
the longest sledging journey by far, I believe, thai 
has yet been accomplished in one day without the aid of 

At 1.30 p.m., during a temporary clearing away of the 
mist, I again ascended the hill above our tent, bounding 
the low shores of Baring Bay on the north, which I have 
named Owen Point, in honour of my friend Professor 
Owen, the distinguished naturalist and Cuvier of our own 
country, who has evinced a lively interest in the Franklin 
search and Polar discovery. 

Baring Bay, indeed, scarcely deserves the name of a 
bay ; it is little more than a broad sweep in of the coast, 
and is so shoal on enter'ng it fiom the southward, that I 
could see the pebble the bottom for several miles off 
shore; and had ^-oci reason to remember the heavy 
ground swell that rolled over it in surges, threatening 
destruction to the boat every minute, in the gale which 
drove us before it, to seek the only place of shelter which 
the whole length and breadth of its shores afforded under 
the Black Mount. 

A black table-topped bluff, bearing E. by S. by com- 
pass, forms the western-most extremity of Alfred Bay, on 
the north side ; and a little to the eastward of this, 
peering just above the high ridge of land, is a peak 
bearing E.S.E., and being the only apparent peak, would 
therefore seem to be Mount Franklin, as there is no hill 
whatever representing it in the position in which it is 
laid down in the chart inland of Baring Bay. A line of 
hummocks of ice as if aground, appears in Baring Bay, 
about two leagues from shore, which may possibly cover 




Voyages of Discovery. 



a shoal (.r very low islet. Distant land in the Queen's 
Channel, apparently Baillie Hamilton Island, &c., bore 
from N. by E. to N.E. by E. Cape Osborn bore N.N.W., 
and the Black Mount above our boat N.W. by N. Whilst 
taking a sketch of the bays and distant points, the ice 
quartermaster and some of the boat's crew meantime 
erected a cairn on the north side of the hill, the others 
being employed cooking dinner, &c., preparatory to our 
departure. We finished the cairn at 3.30 p.m., and 
placed beneath it a tin cylinder containing a record of 
our proceedings thus far. On descending the hill we 
discovered an ancient Esquimaux encampment on its 
acclivity, consisting of a pile of fissile rocks of semicir- 
cular form in front of a natural wall of the stratified rock 
which jutted out from the side of the hill. We dug 
beneath it, but found nothing. The rock, a dark brown- 
coloured limestone, highly crystalline, and the surface 
embossed with the elegant scarlet lichen {Lecanora 
elegans). On our return we had our usual meal of cold 
bacon and biscuit, with some tea. 

At five p.m. we struck the tent to commence our 
return to the boat, the state of the weather unfortunately 
precluding any astronomical observations being taken for 
fixing the positions of the land, which have evidently 
been laid down much in error in the chart. Passing one 
of the largest lakes I had several shots at a pair of 
red-throated divers ; they had a young one on the lake, 
which I shot, and started again at 6.20 p.m. We en- 
camped for the night in the midst of the unsheltered 
waste of snow, nearly half-way back to our boat, at 
10.30 p.m. 

Saturday, 28///. — At eight a.m. breakfasted, struck 
the tent, and started again at 9.30 a.m. This was about 
the most uncomfortable night we had yet passed, blowing 
a hard gale of wind, accompanied by a fall of snow, and 
clouds of drift, and so cold that we could not get warm 


Red-throated Divers and Flock of Ducks. 1 3 7 

all night. The wind finding its way under the tent, 
shaking it so violently that we expected every moment 
the poles would give way, and the canvas come down 
upon us for a coverlet. The thermometer stood at 29°. 
The watch during the night heard a distant sound, like 
the bellowing of cattle. Probably the musk ox whose 
footprints I fell in with yesterday, but concealed from 
view by the ridge of hills inland of us ; for sounds may 
be heard at a great distance, in the highly rarified state 
of the air in the still solitudes of these regions. This 
snowy desert was here and there dotted over with 
boulders of rock, richly ornamented with the beautiful 
and bright scarlet lichen, and intersected by numerous 
rivulets and lakelets, some of the largest of which were 
now half frozen over ; and the ice on the less rapid fresh 
water-courses permitted the sledge being quickly drawn 
over by the whole party without breaking. At eleven a.m. 
we rounded a deep curvature in the shores of the bay, 
the wind edging round to its old quarter in the N.W., 
snowing with a strong drift. Saw three or four tern, 
whose vociferous clamour over our heads proclaimed 
their anxiety for the safety of their young, evidently not 
far off. At intervals we heard the wild deep-toned and 
mournful cry of the red-throated diver rising from some 
adjacent lake, music to the ears of us lone wanderers, in 
the dearth of life and sound around us. We saw one 
large flock of ducks only, going south. At 11.30 a.m. 
crossed an elbow of the low shores, forming a consider- 
able convexity in the bay, from which a deep curve ran 
up beyond it ; bounded on the west by a low black point, 
covered with bro' en-up fragments of limestone, faced with 
the scarlet lichen, and abundantly fossiliferous, more 
especially in corallines, of which I collected some speci- 
mens. Here we became enveloped in a thick fog, which, 
with snow, continued till we reached our old encamp- 
ment. At two p.m. crossed a patch of loose dark sand, 



Voyages of Discmiery. 

and the sledge-party rested for a few minutes near a 
rapid stream, after crossing which the sledge soon came 
upon its outward track of yesterday. Saw three or four 
sandpipers, and wounded an Arctic gull ; which, falling 
somewhere in a dark shingle watercourse, about a quarter 
of a mile from where I shot it, I lost, after making a 
considerable ddtour from the sledge's course in search of 
it, for I have not yet been able to obtain a specimen of 
this solitary bird, mostly met with singly or in pairs, and 
of which we have seen only three or four individuals 
throughout our journey, all very shy and wary. On 
coming up with the sledge, we were drawing near the 
Black Mount, and I proceeded on ahead of my party to 
see if all was right. Reached the boat and cache at 
four p.m. in the midst of a snow-storm, with the wind at 
N.W. Found everything as we left them, with the 
exception of the gratifying sight of open water in the 
cove ; all the ice having been driven out during our 
absence, by the southerly winds, which blew for a few 
hours, leaving only a narrow belt of loose sludge near 
the beach, and no impediment in the way of getting to 
sea in the boat. It was just low water, and the large 
urn-shaped masses of ice were left high and dry in 
hollows in the bed of shingle which they had made for 
themselves in the ebb and flow of the tides, and to the 
repeated action of which they owe their hour-glass form. 
On the arrival of the sledge we pitched the tent on the 
old spot. A large flock of ducks alighted in the bay 
this evening. 

Sunday, 29M. — We did not rise until eight a.m. This 
is the finest morning that we have experienced since 
leaving the ship; and all our clothing and bedding being 
so saturated with moisture as to prevent any of us from 
sleeping last night, 1 took advantage of the favourable 
change in the weather to have everything spread outside 
the tent to dry. Being Sunday, I determined to make 
it a day of rest to recruit the exhausted energies of my 

Mount Providence, and Memorandum left. 1 39 

men before we commenced our homeward voyage ; all 
still feeling more or less the effects of the fatigue 
attending their unremitting exertions for the last two 
days ; one evincing a slight disposition to snow blind- 
ness, and another some dental irritation. 

After they had all had the great comfort of an ablu- 
tion and shave, I read part of the morning service to 
them in the tent. Our dinner, as yesterday, consisted 
of a warm mess of preserved mutton, soup, and potatoes, 
with Burton ale. Wind round to the westward, breaking 
up the winter's floe in the inlet west of the encampment, 
and which was rapidly drifting out past us. The rise 
and fall of the tide here is considerable, some six feet, 
probably. The wind this evening shifted to the N.W., 
with a fall of snow in large flakes. Night overcast and 
misty, with a black-looking horizon to the northward. 
We turned in at nine p.m. 

Monday , yith. — I was up this morning and outside the 
tent as early as four o'clock to look around, and having 
well weighed both our present position and future pros- 
pects, to determine on the best course to be adopted ; 
when, taking into consideration the advanced period of 
the season and unpromising appearance of the weather, 
that nothing further could be accomplished in the search 
northward and eastward of this bay, I very reluctantly 
decided on returning to the ship, and we commenced 
stowing the boat and making preparations for our return. 

At 9.30 a.m. we erected a cairn on the summit of the 
Black Mount, which I called Mount Providence, in com- 
memoration of our providential deliverance from as 
perilous a position as a boat could possibly have escaped 
from — placing beneath the cairn a tin cylinder, enclosing 
a record of our proceedings, of which the following is a 
copy : — 

"Memorandum. — A boat expedition from her Majesty's 
ship North Star, at Erebus and Terror Bay, Beechey 
Island, in search of Sir John Franklin, arrived here on 




ro)uij,^es of Discovery. 


\\ I 

( \\ 



Monday, Au/just 23rd, at midnight, during a galu of 
wind and heavy sea, which carried away the rudder of 
the boat and nearly swamped her. 

" On Thursday last, sledged on the snow over the low 
lands round the head of the bay, without finding any 
opening to the eastward or traces of the missing expe- 
dition, returning to the boat on Saturday afternoon. 
Weather during the preceding week has been most 
unfavourable, blowing, snowing, and foggy, with the 
thermometer constantly below the freezing point. The 
lakes frozen over, and every appearance of winter rapidly 
setting in. 

" Launched the boat this morning on the making of the 
tide, to return down Wellington Strait and examine the 
bays along its eastern shores. A memorandum of 
our sledge-journey has been deposited under a cairn 
erected on the summit of the northern point of the bay. 

" R. McCOKMiCK, OHicer Commanding Party. 
*' Monday ^ August 2pth, 1852." 

To the inlet running up on the west side of Mount 
Providence, from S.S.W. to N.N.E., I gave the name 
of Dragleybeck, in commemoration of the birthplace of 
Sir John Barrow, Bart., and in compliment to his son, 
John Barrow, Esq., of the Admiralty, F.R.S., who, fol- 
lowing up his father's career, has earned for himself a 
distinguished position in the history of Arctic discovery 
by his noble and unceasing efforts in furthering the 
search for the brave but ill-fated Franklin and the rest 
of our long-lost countrymen. And with the point ter- 
minating the inlet I have associated ihe name of a dear 
old friend, now no more, John Brown, Esq., F.R.G.S., the 
distinguished author of the " North-West Passage," and 
the plans for the search of Sir John Franklin. 

The chain of lakelets I named, after my two sisters, 
the Louisa and Marianne Lakes, and the level tract of 
land in which they are situated, the Runham Marshes. 



, ( 

[act of 

.' f 

i In 


Frank/ill's Beacon and Bay of Rcfngc. 141 

Descending to the ridge, which is about fifty feet above 
the beach, and from thence to the lower one on which 
the tent stands, v/e struck it and erected another cairn 
on the spot where it stood. The rocks here are sparingly 
fossiliferous. It was a very low tide this morning, being 
out 100 feet from the last high- water mark. 

After a luncheon of cold bacon and ale, to fortify the 
boat's crew for the long pull they had before them to 
the next bay, against a head-wind and pinchingly cold 
air, we about noon launched the boat between the heavy 
hummocks of ice aground, five or six feet in height when 
high and dry. Had snow, fog, and mist, with a short 
head-sea to buffet with ; the drops of water froze on the 
blades of the oars as they rose from the sea after each 
stroke, and accumulating till the lower edges became 
fringed with pendant icicles ; the water shipped over the 
bows soon froze at the bottom of the boat, so that had 
there been much sea on we should soon have had a very 
dangerous kind of immovable, glacier-like ballast. 

We saw a seal or two, a flock of ducks, a few dovekies, 
fulmar petrel, and the Arctic gull. At 6.45 p.m., on 
rounding Eden Point, the trending of the coast in a 
S.W. direction enabled us to make sail. We carried 
away a temporary rudder which we had constructed just 
before we started out of the head of a cask from the 
wreck of the M'Lellan, American whaler, lost by the 
unfortunate but enterprising seaman, Captain Quayle. 

At 7.30 p.m. we doubled Cape Osborn, and, a quarter 
of an hour afterwards, Franklin's Beacon, standing forth 
through the mist in strong relief from the side of the 
ridge. At 9.30 p.m. reached our old place of encamp- 
ment in Refuge Bay. Found much more snow here than 
when we left it last, being very deep in places. Pitched 
the tent close to our cairn, snowing all the time, and 
pinching work to the men's fingers. Thermometer 27°. 
The state of the tide prevented us from hauling up the 




Voyages of Discovery. 


W } 

\}i ill 

£< .U 


"II' 4 

boat on the shingle ridge, which for greater security 
I always get done if possible ; we were therefore 
obliged to let her ride in the cove, with an anchor 
out on shore. 

Tuesday, ^\st. — The morning's dawn brought with it 
the same kind of weather as yesterday — snow, mist, 
and fog. Rose at 6.30 a.m. The first fox {Cants 
lagopus) was seen by the watch last night near the 
boat ; represented to have been of a brown and white 
colour. I found my aneroid barometer this morning 
quite useless, having sustained some injury from being 
thrown on the beach in the clothes-bag in clearing the 
boat, and into which it had been accidentally put. This 
was a serious loss to me, as I had intended measuring 
all the heights with it in returning down channel. 

From the point I took sketches of the two capes 
south of the bay, together with the opposite coast of 
Cornwallis Land. 

At 2.45 p.m. having embarked everything, we pulled 
all round the bay, closely examining its shores, and land- 
ing at all remarkable points. At about half a mile 
from the top got soundings in thirteen fathoms, and 
within less than a cable's length of the shore the 
soundings gave four fathoms very regularly. The 
winter's floe had not yet broken up in a creek at its 
south-western extremity, and young ice had formed 
here to the thickness of four inches. This is the only 
safe and well-sheltered bay along the whole of this coast 
for anchoring a ship. 

Saw severs ( seals, gulls, and dovekies, and shot one 
of the latter. Landed at a little cove for a few minutes 
to examine the rocks, and sounded again, still getting 
four fathoms. At 5.30 p.m. landed near a black cliff in 
a thick snow-storm, and examined a remarkable-looking 
ravine running up from it. 

6.30 p.m. — Had to pull through a quantity of sludge 

I i 


at its 




\t one 
lliff in 


I mm 

♦ ' 

Si I i 

\ . 1: 

Exatrsjon round the Inland Ridges. 


ice round the outer point in clearing the bay. Took 
a sketch of the headlands and entrance to the bay from 
the southward. Shot at and struck a seal, but he escaped 
us. Saw four or five ducks. 

At 8.30 p.m. doubled the next cape, to which I gave 
the name of Toms, after my friend the assistant-sur- 
geon of the North Star, an enterprising young officer. 
At 9.30 p.m. passed the point where the cylinder and 
memoranda were found coming up channel, which I 
called Domville Point, after my friend and brother- 
officer, the surgeon of the Resolute. About 10.30 p.m. 
entered Emery Bay, and encamped on a fine hard shingle 

Wednesday, September ist. — I was awoke between 
three and four o'clock this morning by the ice quarter- 
master — who had the watch — running into the tent, and 
reporting that our boat was swamping in the surf by a 
sudden squall coming on with the flood tide. On 
hastening down to the beach I found her broadside on, 
and half full of water and sand. On getting her round, 
head to sea and stern in shore, we succeeded, after some 
labour and a thorough drenching, in getting everything 
out of her, and hauling her up abov^ the shingle ridge, 
capsizing her as soon as she was sufficiently clear of the 
breakers, to empty out the water and sand. It now 
blew a hard north-westerly gale ; the sky was densely 
overcast, and the air pinchingly cold : thermometer 29°. 

Breakfasted at eight a.m. The boisterous state of the 
weather not affording the slightest prospect of our being 
able to make a move to-day, with such a sea running 
outside ; therefore, after drying the things, and repairing 
the damages sustained by the morning's disaster — for- 
tunately nothing of a more serious nature to our provisions 
than the soaking of an ullage of biscuit in salt water — I 
planned an excursion round the inland ridges of hills ; 
and to spread the search more widely, separated our 



■i tin 

f: ■ I. 



JA» ; 


f! ■ 


Voyages of Discovery. 

party into three divisions of two men in each, taking our 
guns in the hope of meeting with some game, such at 
least as these desolate shores have to offer. We started 
at five p.m., leaving only the cook for the day in charge 
of the encampment, and a gun to defend himself from 
bruin, should it be needed. I directed one division to 
ascend the ridges south of the bay, another directly 
inland, whilst myself, accompanied by one of the boat's 
crew, proceeded up the hill to the north ; first, passing 
through a romantic-looking, deep, and narrow ravine, 
with steep precipices on either side formed of limestone 
rock, banded horizontally in places with veins of 
gypsum three or four inches in thickness. I entered this 
ravine last night, whilst supper was. getting ready, and 
traced the foot-prints of a fox to his domicile in the 
rocks ; but saw nothing of him this morning. Following 
a zigzag course for about a mile, the black crags break- 
ing through the white mantle of snow which now deeply 
covers the land, gave it a very picturesque appearance, 
terminating in an open space between the hills. On 
emerging we ascended the hill bounding it on the right, 
and shaped a south-easterly course, so as to fall into the 
track of the other divisions of our party on the central 
ridge. On sighting them we descended to the shores 
of the bay, examining the beach all round to the en- 
cauipment, without meeting with the slightest traces or 
indication of any one having preceded us here, and 
not a living thing to break the death-like stillness and 
utter desolation of the scene. We reached the tent 
at seven p.m., and the other parties returned soon 
afterwards with the same results. 

When on the highest ridges I carefully observed the 
appearances of the land in an easterly direction within 
the extent of vision, for any apparent break of continuity 
that might afford an indication of water beyond, never 
Iwsing sight of the possibility of Jones's Sound sweeping 



■•i! a ' 



ii I 

Discover and name Fitton Bay, 


round in its course near the heads of some of the deeper 
inlets of the Wellington Channel, taking a westerly course 
from Baffin's Bay in the direction of Baring Bay, as 
Jones's Sound is represented to do in the chart. But 
neither Baring Bay nor the two other bays that I have 
since closely examined afford any indication of the 
vicinity of open water. An intermediate series of ridges 
of hills, one just rising above the other, and for the most 
part running parallel with the coast, bound the tops of 
all the bays ; and I have never seen the gulls or other 
sea-fowl flying inland to the eastward, although I have 
at all times watched them narrowiy in their flight. 

Thursday^ 2nd. — Breakfasted at seven a.m. The 
violent gusts of wind, accompanied by heavy snow-drift, 
during the night, nearly blew down our tent, and the air 
was excessively cold. Anxiously waiting for the gale to 
abate, to proceed on our voyage. After sketching the 
encampment and the adjacent hills, I walked up the 
ravine, and filled a haversack with specimens from the 
gypsum vein. Dined at 1.30 p.m., and built a cairn near 
the tent, under which I deposited a tin cylinder, enclos- 
ing the usual record of our proceedings. The gale 
abating during the day, as soon as the sea had sufficiently 
subsided I took advantage of the temporary lull to start 
at four p.m., notwithstanding a dark threatening horizon, 
with the hope of reaching our old quarters in Griffin Bay 
before we should encounter a second edition of the gale, 
which it was but too evident was brewing up in the 
north. On starting, saw a solitary snow-bunting on the 
beach. We sounded in crossing the bay with a line of 
twenty-three fathoms, and no bottom at this depth. 
The ridges round the top of the bay have a mean height 
of about 200 feet. 

I sailed round the next semicircular bay, which I 
called Fitton Bay, after an old friend and distinguished 
geologist, Dr. Fitton (who was the first to direct my 







Voyages of Discovery. 

attention to the structure of that highly interesting and 
remarkable island, Kerguelen's Land — Desolation Isle of 
Captain Cook — in the southern seas). Closely and care- 
fully examined its shores and ridges, and got soundings 
in from four to five fathoms at 100 yards from the beach. 
There is no shoal water in either of these bays, both 
being deep. The boat got into heavy rollers outside of 
the headlands ; one or two of which struck her, filling us 
with more water than we needed, having had enough of 
that element already. A black threatening squall rising 
to windward, we exerted every effort to reach Griffin Bay 
before it overtook us. At 5.30 p.m. we rounded Cape 
Grinnell in a snow-storm, into smooth water. Saw the pro- 
vision cairn on the point, and two seals swimming. 
Sailed close in shore round the bay, which is n^argined 
by shingly beach with hummocks of ice aground all 
round (as usual on all these shores), backed by a ridge 
of hills from 100 to 200 feet in height, receding inland 
in the form of an amphitheatre. 

On first rounding the north point, an arm of the bay 
runs into the N.E. ; here we passed a snug little creek 
enclosed in the shingle banks, leaving an opening just 
sufficient for admitting a boat, secure from ice and 
weather ; but having a fair wind, I was anxious to make 
the most of it, inauspicious as was the aspect of the 

We reached the top of the bay, which is about six 
miles in depth, at seven p.m., and found a low shingle 
and mud flat, backed by boggy ground, and extending 
inland to the base of the amphitheatre of hills, inter- 
spersed near the beach by pools of water, which appeared 
to be full of small fish, as the gulls were far more numerous 
here than at any other spot we have yet visited. A 
large group of kittiwakes and fulmar petrel, with an 
ivory gull or two amongst them, were evidently making a 
good harvest, repeatedly rising with a fish about the size 

sting and 
on Isle of 
and care- 
he beach, 
ays, both 
>utside of 
filling us 
mough of 
iall rising 
rriffin Bay 
led Cape 
tv the pro- 
round all 
y a ridge 
ig inland 

the bay 
;tle creek 
ling just 

ice and 
to make 
:t of the 

ibout six 
V shingle 
Is, inter- 
lited. A 
with an 
naking a 
the size 

»': i' ■ 




■'' tj' 

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- - .jm n: 

A Hear on the Floe, make Sail in Pursuif. 147 

of a pilchard in their beaks after each rapid downward 
plunge in* the water. A solitary Arctic gull was actively 
carrying on at the same time his buccaneering deprt^da- 
tions amongst them whenever an opportunity offered for 
robbing an unlucky gull of its prey, by compelling it to 
drop the fish with a scream, which, with great tact, was 
caught by this sea rover before it dropped into the 

I ran the boat's head in, but the water was so shoal 
that she grounded at too great a distance from the beach 
to effect a landing ; and just as I was about stepping 
out at a more favourable spot, a little further on, with the 
intention of shooting some of the birds and obtaining 
specimens of the fish they had swallowed, a bear was 
discovered on the floe which filled up the inlet at the 
S.W. corner of the bay. Bruin being considered by all 
hands, and certainly not the least so by myself, higher 
game than the gulls, the sail was hoisted instanter, and 
the boat's head in a few minutes was dashing through 
the swell (which was now setting into the more exposed 
part of the bay) before the wind in the direction bruin 
was leisurely pacing along the ice, on the look-out for a 
seal, several of which were swimming about the bay. 
Before we reached the floe, which was of young ice 
already six inches in thickness, he had, however, taken 
alarm, and made ofif for the land, disappearing behind a 
point jutting out from the inlet. 

Finding that the squall which had been threatening 
for some time was now coming in good earnest upon us, I 
brought the boat's head round for the south headland of the 
bay, the site of our former encampment upon the way up 
channel, in a sheltered cove a little within the headland ; 
but as we became more and more exposed to the sea 
setting into the bay, in a boat so deep in the water, and 
so leaky from one of her planks having been stove in by 
the ice in the bad weather we had been incessantly ex- 

L 2 





yoyajres of Discovery. 


r 1 

II li 

posed to, the water from the leak, together with the 
occasional shipping of a sea, so gained upon us, not- 
withstanding that a hand was kept unceasingly baling 
her out, and having no rudder, we had to bear up for the 
nearest land to us, distant nearly two miles, although 
unfortunately a lee shore, on which a heavy surf was 
breaking. We got soundings in twelve fathoms, and 
saw a second bear. Selecting the most favourable spot 
that offered for beaching the boat, in a curve of the 
coast somewhat protected from the rollers by a low 
point, we backed her in stern foremost, letting go the 
anchor over the bows, and running a line out astern to 
the shore so as to keep her head to the sea till every- 
thing was got out of her, and fortunately landed without 
sustaining any damage from the surf, which was breaking 
heavily against the boat's quarter, save and except a 
drenching to ourselves. 

Before we had hauled her up between the masses of 
ice into a place of security for the night on the shingle 
beach, the thermometer fell as low as 25°. The air was 
bitingly cold, and snowing all the time. 

After pitching the tent on a fine hard shingle ridge, 
clear of snow, the fire lighted, and supper, with a cup of 
warm tea, under cover of the canvas, we turned into our 
felt-bags for the night, and soon forgot our toils in a 
sound sleep. 

Friday, o^rd. — Passed the most comfortable night that 
we have yet had, the ground being hard dry shingle on 
which our buffalo robes were spread. We were confined 
within the tent all day by stress of weather, which has 
been most winterly ; blowing, as usual, a hard north- 
westerly gale, with heavy snow-drift, half burying the 
tent, the sky overcast with a dense mist, and continuous 
fall of fine snow. Thermometer throughout the day 
standing as low as 26°, and the air piercingly cold. 
The fire outside of the tent took double the usual time in 




Sophia Cove and Bear Point. 


boiling the kettle ; and the pemmicdn which we had for 
dinner to-day, for the first time since we left the ship, 
was hard frozen when taken out of the case. 

I had a shot at an eider duck which alighted in the 
bay. A few glaucous gulls {Larusglaucus) flew past the 
little inlet, which I named Sophia Cove. I occupied 
myself this evening with my plans of search. Had the 
last of our Burton ale to-day, and turned into our sleeping- 
bags at about ten p.m. 

Saturday, ^th. — Weather much the same as yesterday, 
prevented us from putting to sea ; but, as the wind and 
snow-drift had somewhat abated, I formed a party for a 
bear-hunting excursion to the top of the bay, when just 
as we were getting our guns ready for starting, bruin 
himself anticipated our purpose by suddenly making his 
appearance, and thus saved us a day's buffeting with 
this inclement weather. One of the boat's crew having 
reported him in sight, on going outside of the tent I saw 
a fine full-grown bear {Ursiis maritimtis) sauntering 
leisurely along the beach, about midway between us and 
a point towards the entrance to the bay, to which I gave 
the name of Bear Point. As his course was direct for 
the encampment, I ordered my party within the tent, to 
avoid alarming him, whilst I watched his movements 
from the door. Bruin, however, evidently suspecting 
that all was not right, suddenly altered his course to 
pass inland of the tent, at the back of the shingle ridge 
above it. The instant he disappeared behind the ridge, 
I made direct for it, to intercept him, desiring my party 
to be ready with their rifles to cut off his retreat should 
he happen to escape the fire from my old double-barrel, 
which had, a quarter of a century before, been fatal to 
bruin's race in the island of Spitz bergen. On my rising 
the ridge, bruin turned his head inland, when, after firing 
both barrels, the ball from the second one brought him 
on his haunches, at the distance of sixty yards from me. 




\ "\ 


m i 

:) i 


Voyages of Discovery. 

It was only for an instant, however, for he gathered him- 
self up again, and retreated towards the beach, evidently 
mortally wounded ; and after running the gauntlet of a 
whole volley of balls from the rifles and muskets of the 
boat's crew, who, being too eager and excited, I suppose, 
fired so hurriedly that not a ball took effect ; and under 
their fire he took to the water, swimming out into the 
bay for the distance of two or three hundred yards, when 
he wore round with his head in shore, unable any longer 
to make head against the wind, which was blowing dead 
on shore. His last efforts to struggle against it must 
have been desperate, for he had no sooner borne up than 
his huge form floated on the water a lifeless mass, just 
as I was about launching the boat to go in pursuit of him. 
After a short interval the wind drifted him on shore about 
200 yards from our encampment, to which we bore him on 
the sledge ; and, cold as it was, we set about skinning him. 
immediately ; when, strange enough, we found on exami- 
nation that my second ball was the only one that had 
struck him, entering about a foot above the insertion 
of the tail, and an inch on the left side of the spine, 
literally drilling him through, and making its exit by 
the mouth, splintering two of the canine teeth as it 
passed out. As a proof of the extreme tenacity of life 
in these hardy creatures, this animal had one of the 
largest internal arteries divided by the ball in its course, 
which poured out so much blood that it was streaming 
from his mouth and nostrils in such a torrent as to dye 
the surf around him of a deep crimson colour as w^ 
hauled him up on the beach, and on opening the body a 
deluge of the crimson fluid flowed out. Yet with this 
deadly wound he managed to run at his usual speed 
about 200 yards to the beach, and then swim against a 
head sea for at the least as great a distance farther, 
making fearful struggles until the moment of his last 
gasp for breath. 

li! ! 

% : 1 

* ., , 

Shoot a Bear^ and had Bear Steak, 


He measured seven and a half feet in length, was 
finely moulded, and in excellent condition. We had a 
rump steak off him, as an addition to our pemmican 
dinner, and found it infinitely better eating than some of 
the beef I have tasted which had been supplied the ship. 
At midnight the wind veered round more to the north, 
with a dark horizon in that quarter. Thermometer 26^ 

Sunday, <^th. — No change in the weather, boisterous 
as ever, and thermometer at 26°. Had bear steaks for 
breakfast. Read part of the Morning Service to my 
party in the tent. Saw several seals swimming about the 
bay, and another bear on the floe at its upper end, but 
not within our reach : I could just make him out with the 
aid of my telescope. An ivory gull {Larus eburneus), 
showing great confidence, hovered about the remains of 
bruin during the greater part of the day, apparently 
enjoying a most sumptuous feast. Several glaucous gulls 
shyly hovered over in passing by, but did not venture to 
alight ; saw also a solitary snow-bunting. 

Night threatening, with a black and lurid sky, still 
blowing hard, with much surf in the bay. Wind shifted 
round to its old quarter in the N.W. again, with the 
thermometer down to 24°, and bitterly cold. 

Monday, 6th. — Rose at six a.m. Wind more off the 
land and somewhat moderated, with less sea on outside ; 
the young ice at the upper inlet of the bay which had 
been broken up by the swell setting on it during the gale, 
was drifting out past us in considerable quantity, forming 
a belt along shore. 

Commenced preparations for shifting our encamp- 
ment into the next bay, as soon as the swell along shore 
subsided sufficiently to enable us to get the boat afloat, 
and round the headland, the vicinity of which, and summit 
of Cape Bowden, I was anxiously desirous of more 
thoroughly examining than my time permitted of when 


MW ' 




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Voyages of Discovery. 

outward bound. Erected a cairn upon the ridge where 
we had encamped, and deposited beneath it a cylinder 
containing a record of our proceedings. 

At 10.30 a.m., on the wind and sea going down, we 
launched the boat, and had to row through sludge and 
brash, intermixed with hard floe pieces of the bay or 
young ice, which so impeded the progress of the boat 
that the " had a most laborious hour's pull in getting 
through littlf more than a mile of it. 

We landed at our old place of encampment enpassant to 
look for the musk-ox skull which we had accidentally left 
there. But the change which the place had undergone 
during our :^b"'"Tio.e had been so great that we could 
barely recf>gn'"'» •'. The heavy seas setting upon this 
shore during he at^ •almost continuous succession of 
north westerly gales h.:d "ished away the old beach, and 
thrown ridge ..poi ndjt ■' shingle higher up the em- 
bankment, bringing the soot \ "eve aur tent stood some 
yards nearer to the water s edge. We could nowhere 
find the horns ; they must either have been washed away 
or buried beneath the confused heaps of shingle and 
huge hummocks of stranded ice. 

At one p.m., after rounding Cape M'Bain, we hauled 
the boat up on a hard shingly beach, on the north side 
of Clark Bay, about half-way up, and pitched the tent 
on a fine, dry part of the ridge, on the margin of a frozen 
lake. Saw several gulls sitting on the beach ; and just 
as I landed a solitary raven (Corvus cor ax), hovering 
overhead to reconnoitre our proceedings, fell a victim to 
his curiosity. I fired at him, and he fell dead upon the 
surface of the frozen lake. This bay appears to be a 
favourite retreat of the ravens ; we saw several on our 
last visit here, but none elsewhere. At three p.m. we 
had our usual warm mess for dinner, and opened the last 
gutta-percha case of biscuit. Three of our party having 
eaten rather too freely of the bear's liver for supper last 

Excursion to Summit of Cape Bowden. 


.m. we 

night, complained to-day of violent headache, which 
readily yielded to a smart cathartic dose of medicine. 

At five p.m. I left the encampment, accompanied by 
one of my party, on a searching excursion over the ridges 
round the bay^ to the summit of Cape Bowden, a distance 
of about six miles from the tent. Our course lay over a 
succession of ridges, and through ravines filled with deep 
snow, in many places above the knees at every step we 
set, and in the snow-drifts crossing some of the deep 
hollows even up to the waist. We had to climb one very 
steep hill, separated from Cape Bowden by a deep, 
saddle-like depression, nearly filled by a frozen lake. We 
rapidly descended to this, but had another toilsome 
ascent up the steep acclivities of the Cape ; and on 
reaching the summit had to walk a mile further over 
deep snow before I found the Rescue^ sc2i\xv\^ which stands 
on the southern extremity of the ridge. W^e reached the 
spot at seven p.m. I drew from beneath the pile of 
stones a broken common green quart bottle, containing 
a gutta-percha case, enclosing the usual printed notice 
on yellow paper left by the searching parties from the 
Lady Franklin and Sophia. I tore a leaf from my 
memorandum book, and wrote on it a record of my visit, 
which I put in, and replaced the bottle in the cairn. 
Having taken a rough sketch of the coast, extending from 
Point Bowden to Cape Spencer, the whole outline of 
which appeared displayed beneath as on a map from this 
elevation, I commenced my return, and on reaching the 
extreme craggy north point of the ridge, I took another 
sketch of our encampment on the other side of Clark 
Bay, with Cape Grinnell and the headlands seen jutting 
out beyond it to the north. The spot on which I stood 
was a rugged crag, overhanging Wellington Channel ; 
the chasm or deep gorge, which cleft the crag in two, 
forming a steep and precipitous descent to the beach 
below, was in part treacherously arched over with a frail 




Voyages oj Discovery. 

crust of snow, rendering it a dangerous place to approach 
in a thick snow-drift, as one false step would hurl the 
wanderer headlong into the frowning gulf below. The 
brown, weather-worn surface of the limestone strata was 
so arranged in horizontal layers on either side as to 
resemble reams of brown paper piled one above another 
more than anything else ; as these vertical sections, on 
which the snow could find no resting-place, peered from 
beneath its otherwise universal covering of the land. In 
the valley beneath lay the still frozen surface of the lake. 
Looking up channel the northern horizon presented a 
very remarkable tint of the deepest indigo blue — a pecu- 
Har tint, I do not recollect ever having seen before, and 
bounding it like a narrow band or streak, the sky else- 
where being overcast all round, with the exception of a 
wild glare of light which gleamed through the black 
canopy shrouding Comwallis Land on the opposite shore. 
I heard the lively note of the snow-bunting, the only indi- 
cation of life around us in this still and desolate solitude. 
We saw neither bird nor beast else throughout the whole 
of our excursion. Occasionally a track of the fox or 
hare met the eye, and we saw the footprints of the 
ptarmigan {Tetrao lagofiis) on the acclivity of Cape 

After descending from the crag into the valley to the 
lake beneath, we toiled up the steep face of the ridge 
on the other side, not a little jaded and fatigued with the 
rough and rugged outward journey, and the agreeable 
prospect before us of a return over the same course, 
now with monotony instead of novelty for companionship. 
It was now eight p.m., and we reached the tent at 
ten p.m. Thermometer down to 21°. Night foggy, with 
light airs. 

Tuesday^ "jth. — The wind this morning suddenly shifted 
round to the south-west, accompanied by a fall of snow, 
which, with a strong breeze blowing, confined us to the 

Built our last Cairn and leave Memo, beneath. 155 

tent until about five p.m., when the weather cleared up, 
but the wind being against our going down channel, 
together with some heavy streams of bay ice in the 
offing, brought over from the opposite shore by the shift 
of wind, delayed our departure to-day. 

At the time of setting the first watch for the night, 
the moon appeared in a bright crescent form, shining 
forth through an opening in some light, fleecy clouds, 
which were passing across the clear, blue, ethereal sky ; 
the evening star was peeping over the ridge at the back 
of the tent, twinkling with unusual brightness, just above 
a faint red streak of light which skirted the horizon ; and 
here and there a star of the first magnitude was just 
becoming visible in the zenith and the western portion 
of the heavens. The thermometer had fallen to 24°. 

Wednesday^ %th. — This is the first fine day that we 
have really had since we left the ship ; the sun, which 
for the last three weeks has been an entire stranger to 
us, now shone forth from a clear blue sky. When I 
registered the thermometer, however, at six o'clock this 
morning, it was as low as twenty degrees below the 
freezing point, having fallen no less than twelve degrees 
during the night — from 24° to 1 2°. The maximum during 
our voyage of three weeks was only 31°, minimum 12°, 
and the mean 21°, never having at any time risen above 
the freezing point. The mean of eight days, taken with 
the aneroid before it was damaged, was 29° 54'. It was 
bitterly cold within the tent, my south-wester, mitts, and 
Esquimaux boots were hard frozen under my head, where 
they had formed a substitute for a pillow. 

After breakfast we built our last cairn on the spot of 
our last bivouac, and buried beneath it a tin cylinder 
containing the following record of our proceedings : — 

Memo. — A boat expedition up Wellington Channel 
in search of Sir John Franklin. Left her Majesty's ship 
North Star at Erebus and Terror Bay, Beechey Island, 


I \ 





Voyages of Discovery. 

on Thursday morning the 19th of August, and after a 
close examination of Baring Bay by sledging round its 
shores on the snow, without finding any opening to the 
eastward, on returning down channel searched every bay, 
inlet, and headland along the coast without discovering 
any traces of the lost ships. Encamped here on Monday, 
September 6th, and the boat is now launching to return 
to the ship. The weather throughout the whole of this 
time has been most tempestuous — continued gales of 
wind, accompanied by thick weather and a short, broken 
sea with a heavy swell, very dangerous for boats. The 
thermometer, which has never been above the freezing 
point, fell last night twelve degrees, from 24° to 1 2° Fahr. 
The young ice formed in the bay, and the whole of the 
land is enveloped in a white mantle of snow. But few 
animals have been seen, vegetation being very scanty. 
Traces of the musk ox, however, and its horns were 
found, and three hares seen in this bay. On Saturday 
last I shot a large bear on the south side of Griffin Bay. 
R. McCoRMiCK, Officer Commanding Party. 
Wednesday, September 8th, 1852. 

Having struck the tent and stowed the boat, we 
launched her at 10.30 a.m. and made sail with a fresh 
and fair breeze round Cape Bowden, outside of which 
there was still a short broken sea in the channel ; but 
we carried on through it without taking in a reef. 
Reached Cape Spencer at four p.m., after a fine passage 
of five hours and a half, under sail the whole way. Here 
we hauled the boat into a small creek between the shingle 
ridges, and lighting a fire on the bank of shingle, com- 
menced cooking our dinner, when a boat under sail, and 
standing towards us, hove in sight, coming round the 
point of the shingle spit which divides Erebus and Terror 
Bay from Union Bay, and on which the graves are 
situated. On reaching us we found that it was the 
second gig, in charge of the second master, with pro- 
visions to be left en cache at Cape Osborn ; but she was 

kit ^^ V 

Return to the Ship, Names 0/ Boat's Crew. 157 

far too late to have the slightest chance of accomplish- 
ing this object. In my own mind I doubted much her 
reaching even our last place of encampment, which we 
left this morning. 

The news we obtained from her of the arrival of Lady 
Franklin's vessel, the Isabel, from England during our 
absence, having only sailed again this morning on her 
homeward voyage, was quite unexpected. 

I winged a young silvery gull here {Lams argentatus), 
which I took on board with me alive. 

As soon as we had finished our dinner we shoved ofT, 
and instead of going round Beechey Island made sail 
across Union Bay (the winter's floe having cleared out 
during our absence). The moon shone brightly forth 
just above the cairn on the summit of Cape Spencer. 
Rounding the point of the spit, on opening the North 
Stary she hoisted her colours, and we ran up ours; the 
bugle sounded on board, which I answered by firing off 
my gun. 

At 8.30 p.m. ran alongside, when I had the pleasing 
gratification of finding letters for myself from home, sent 
me by my friend, Mr. Barrow, of the Admiralty, together 
with piles of newspapers brought out for the squadron. 

The following is a list of the names of the crew, selected 
from ten volunteers who offered to accompany me in 
H.M. boat Forlorn Hope. 

Thomas Rands, aet. 30, Ice-quartermaster. 
Edward Millikin, ,, 25, Able seaman. 

27, Able seaman. 
39, Royal Marines. 
25, Able seaman. 
23, Able seaman. 

Of the cool, steady, praiseworthy conduct of all, the 
unanimous good feeling shown towards each other, and 
respectful attention to myself on all occasions, I cannot 
speak too highly. They deserve my warmest approba- 
tion ; and 1 trust that their meritorious services will not 

James Nugent, 
Eleazer J. Clark, 
George Burns, 
John Frost, 



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Voyages of Discovery. 

pass unnoticed. Thomas Rands I found a most able 
and efficient petty offcer. He also gave universal satis- 
faction in serving out our daily rations, which I com- 
mitted to his charge. 



' ''tl 

List of Game killed by R. McCormick, R.N. 

Polar bear 
Arctic fox 
Arctic hare 
Greenland finch 
Little auk 
Dovekie . 

Red-throated diver 

Fulmar petrel . 
Ivory gull 
Silvery gull 
Glaucous gull . 
Eider duck 
Pintail duck . 
King duck 


Ursus mantimus . . . i 

Cams lagopus . . .2 

Lepus borealis . . .6 

Georychus lemmus . . . 1 

Conms corax . .4 

Tetrao lagopus . . a 

Fringilla grcenlaudiac . . 2 

Tringa maritima . . .4 

A/ca alle . . . . 4 

Uria grylle . . .10 

l/n'a brtmnicfiii . . .2 
Colymbusseptentrionalisiyoung) i 

Sterna arctua . . .1 

Frocellaria glacialis . . 2 

Zarus ebenuus . . .2 

Larus argentatus . . .2 

Larus glauciis . . .1 

Anas mollissima . . .9 

Anas cattdacuta . . .3 

Anas spectabilis . . . 1 


. 60 

Dimensions of the Polar Bear {Ma\e) sAot September 4//1, 1852, /« 
Griffin Bay, Wellington Channel. 


Greatest circumference of body 
„ head 



Feet. Inches. 

7 6 

S 6 

2 8 

3 3 


Dimensions of a Polar Bear, 

Length of head .... 

„ of fore leg (from shoulder joint) 
Circumference of fore leg 
Length of hind leg (from hip joint . 
Circumference of hind leg 
Length of fore paw . 
Circumference of fore paw 
Length of hind paw 
Circumference of hind paw 

Estimated weight . 


Feel. Inchcn. 

I 6 

• 3 

. 3 

• 3 


I COO lbs. 

;, (1 




The probable Position of the *' Erebus" and " Terror^' 
and Fate of their Crews. 

My experience during the late voyage and winter, passed 
on the very same spot where Franklin spent his, and 
where all traces of him cease, have most decidedly 
confirmed me in the opinion I had ventured to express 
in my plans of search some five years ago, — viz., that 
the missing expedition passed up the Wellington Channel 
into the Polar Sea, and was to be sought amongst the 
archipelago of islands and drifting packs of ice with 
which that sea is most unquestionably encumbered, and 
where the search should be made with efficient well- 
equipped boats, adapted for encountering the packs of 
ice, strong currents, and dangerous intricacies, inseparable 
from such a navigation, promising nought else but 
destruction to ships. From boats alone could any hope 
be entertained of a rescue of our gallant countrymen, ere 
they fell victims to the combined effects of frost and 
famine, — for in these two expressive words all their priva- 
tions may probably be summed up, — and, if too late to 
save them, of discovering any traces they may have left 
behind them. 

At that earlv period of the search I believe I stood 
alone in this opinion. Thi' general impression was that 

Concluding Remarks. 


the ships had been arrested in the ice to the southward 
and westward of Melville Island ; consequently, the main 
efforts for carrying on the search took that direction. 
There are few perhaps who will now dispute my views, 
or their originality, which the Parliamentary records have 

My reasons for coming to the conclusion I then did 
need not be recapitulated here, they having been fully 
explained in my plans submitted at the time, and, sub- 
sequently, in the year 1850-52, accompanied by the first 
proposal made for attempting the search in so high a 
latitude in an open boat, which I volunteered to conduct. 
This plan obtained the warm support of the Hydro- 
grapher. Rear- Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, and of Rear- 
Admiral Sir Edward Parry (with whom I made my first 
voyage towards the North Pole), who recommended my 
employment in very favourable terms in their reports of 
approval annexed to my plans laid before Parliament. 

I was at last sent out in the North Star, but the 
position I was necessarily placed in in that ship was not 
such as to enable me to act in the noble cause in the 
way I had hoped, and, being somewhat anomalous, 
renders it incumbent on me to be careful that my share 
in the search is not left open to misconception. Here I 
may, therefore, be permitted to draw attention to the fact 
that, could I at once have proceeded up the Wellington 
Channel on the first arrival of the North Star at Bcechey 
Island, on the 8th of August, 1852, with my boat's crew 
of volunteers, instead of being detained until the 19th of 
the same month, — by which dHay we lost the last eleven 
fine days of the season, and best portion of it in which 
boating operations can be carried on in those seas, Wel- 
lington Channel being as open as the Atlantic, as far as 
the eye could reach from the summit of Bcechey Island, 
which, with Cape Riley, I ascended on the day of my 
arrival ; the season an unusually open one, with little or 

VOL. II. • M 

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Voyages of Discovery. 


no ice, and the wind blowing from the southward and 
eastward, fresh and fair, — there was nothing to have 
prevented us from doubling Cape Sir John Franklin, and 
proceeding round by Jones Sound into Baffin Bay, before 
the north-westerly gales set in, which at a later period 
we met with ; these winds would have proved fair for our 
return down Jones Sound, sheltered under the lee of the 
land, round by Lancaster Sound and Barrow Strait to 
Beechey Island, thus completing the circumnavigation 
of North Devon, and an entire examination of its shores. 
Subsequent events have proved that all this might have 
been accomplished in the season. 

When we were enabled to get away from the ship 
winter had already, the day before, set in. After an 
absence of three weeks' exposure to a succession of north- 
westerly gales, and, altogether, the most boisterous 
weather that I ever before experienced, as described in 
the preceding narrative ; I, however, had the satisfaction 
of setting the Baring Bay question at rest, viz., that 
there is no communication whatever between that bay and 
Jones Sound. 

After my return I wrote a letter to the commander of 
the expedition early in the spring, offering to explore 
Smith Sound into the Polar Ocean as far as the season 
would permit of, if I was given the command of the Mary 
yacht, a decked boat of twelve tons, cutter-rigged, and 
well adapted for such a service, as, in addition to the 
greater quantity of provisions and stores which she would 
stow for a prolonged search, she would also possess the 
advantage of greater safety in a sea that might endanger 
an open boat, more especially if deeply laden, as the 
Forlorn Hope was. My former boat's crew having volun- 
teered to accompany me again, and cheerfully expressed 
their willingness to follow me wherever I led them, it was 
my intention to have brought the Mary across the 
Atlantic home, after completing provisions and fuel at 


1 III Tn»r i<Tr I 

Concluding Remarks. 


some one of the depots at Pond's Bay, or the southern 
shores of Lancaster Sound, instead of risking her getting 
beset for the winter in the heavy packs with which Barrow 
Strait was filled this season. 

My object in the voyage up Smith's Sound was to have 
made as near an approach to the Pole as the state of the 
ice would have permitted. I believe that if ever the 
North Pole is reached, it will be on the meridian of 
Smith Sound. (It will be seen in the sequel that I have 
had reasons for changing my opinion.) 

I may here offer a few suggestions on the probable fate 
of the missing ships and their crews, having myself 
entertained sanguine hopes of discovering some traces 
of them in the higher latitudes, which it was my intention, 
if possible, to have reached had the command of the Mary 
been given me. This, however, was declined by the 
commodore, and in the anwer which I received from 
him to my offer, dated on board the Assistance, the 
26th of July, 1853, the reason assigned was that ** No- 
thing now remains undone in that vicinity." Every 
hope of making myself further useful in the cause being 
now at an end, I had no other alternative left me than 
to return home in the Phoenix, having done all that it was 
in my power to do. 

There are several ways by which a ship may be 
destroyed — by fire, by foundering, by collision with ice, 
or by being driven on shore. Either of the first two 
casualties might easily enough happen to a single ship ; 
but as it is in the highest degree improbable that two 
ships should together share the same fate, these two 
modes of accounting for the loss of the Polar ships may 
at once be disposed of. The third, by collision with 
ice, carries with it a greater amount of probability. Even 
this, however, in the case of the Erebus and Terror 
seems to me a very unlikely catastrophe to have happened 
to two ships so strongly built, and so well additionally 

M 2 








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■ r 

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t !' 

1% i 

m -11 



Voyages 0/ Discovery, 

fortified by the stoutest doubling, as those ships were, 
rendering them capable of resisting an amount of pressure 
from ice truly astonishing, as I can, from my own personal 
observation, vouch for, having seen them beset in the 
immense packs of ice in the Antarctic seas, consisting 
of floes mostly of great thickness and density, the latter 
quality being greatly increased from the temperature 
never rising above the freezing point within the Ant- 
arctic circle even at midsummer, consequently exerting 
no thawing influence on those vast fields of ice, which, 
when put in motion during the agitation of the great 
southern ocean by heavy gales, I have often seen the 
strength of the Erebus most severely tested between huge 
dense masses of blue ice, violently grinding past her sides, 
tearing and rolling up her stout copper sheathing like so 
much ladies' curl-paper, whilst every beam and timber in 
her have been creaking and groaning, and the rudder 
almost wrung from its fastenings. Ice with which the 
floes and packs within the bays and straits of the Arctic 
circle can no more be compared, than the ice on the sur- 
face of the Serpentine can with the floes of Melville Bay. 
The only ice I have ever seen in the north at all to be 
compared with the southern packs occurs in the Spitz- 
bergen seas. 

I have entered more fully upon the effects of ice than 
I should otherwise have done, in consequence of having 
frequently heard the loss of the Breadalbane hired trans- 
port cited as an example of the loss of Sir John Franklin's 
ships, many persons jumping at once to the conclusion 
that the latter must have been crushed and engulfed in 
the same summary way as the unlucky transport was. 
The two cases, however, are widely different. The 
Breadalbane was known to be an old vessel, which the 
owners had not sufficiently doubled or strengthened to 
enable her to resist even a moderate degree of pressure 
from two contending floes ; the consequence was they 

Concluding Remarks. 


went through her bottom, and she disappeared beneath 
them within a quarter of an hour from the time she was 
first caught in the " nip," as I was a witness to myself 
from the deck of the Phcsnix, which ship was in the 

same " nip." 

The American whaler, M'Lellen, lost in Melville Bay 
in the season of 1852, is another instance brought for- 
ward in support of this opinion ; but she, also, was an 
old, worn-out ship, and her timbers very defective where 
the floe-edge caught her side and stove her in. This 
I saw myself, as I went on board of her at the time, 
she having become a wreck immediately under the bows 
of the North Star, carrying away that vessel's cathead. 
But to draw any comparison between those two vessels 
and the Erebus and Terror, would be like comparing the 
cracking a hollow filbert with the hardest ivory nut. 

Much has been said about the ships having been 
forced out of Erebus and Terror Bay, and of their having 
left indications behind them of a hurried departure. On 
what grounds these surmises have been founded it would 
be somewhat difficult to divine. I passed a whole year 
in that bay, and whatever may be said to the contrary, 
I believe it to be utterly impossible that any vessel could 
be driven out of it after having once been frozen in ; a 
more safe bay for wintering in does not exist along the 
whole line of coast. Its very fault lies in its security, 
the difficulty in getting out again when once within it, 
as the bay-floe rarely breaks up before the end of August 
or beginning of September. The North Star getting on 
shore there had nothing whatever to do with the bay, and 
was an event in no way calculated to compromise its 
character for safety. The spot where the Erebus and 
Terror lay was evidently near its western extremity, in 
the curve of the bay formed by the shingle ridge, extend- 
ing out from Beechey Island, on which " the graves " are 
situated ; the close vicinity of the magnetic observatory, 


! Is \\ 


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Voyages 0/ Discovery. 

the armourer's forge, the washing-place at the water- 
course, and the small garden not much farther off, with 
the cairn above it — all combined to point out this as the 
winter quarters of the ships, and a more secure one 
could not well have been fixed upon. In fact it was 
the only position in this bay in which a ship would be 
altogether secure from being driven on shore by any 
sudden ingress of ice in the autumn, before the winter's 
floe was firmly formed, and, as such, could not fail to 
have been selected by one of Sir John Franklin's judg- 
ment and experience. I saw nothing whatever in support 
of the notion that the departure of the ships was a hurried 
one, but much to convince me that Franklin and those 
with him had not idly passed their winter here, to which 
the sites of tents in various directions, sledge-tracks, and 
everything else bore ample testimony. 

Further, I am of opinion that sledging-parties from his 
ships had been up the Wellington Channel, and reason- 
ing upon what I know may be accomplished, even in 
mid-winter, where energy exists, as in such men as 
Franklin and my lamented friend, that soul of enterprise, 
the noble-minded Bellot, these sledge journeys were very 
probably extended beyond Cape Lady Franklin — even 
to the portal of the Polar Ocean. Their tracks round 
Cape Spencer in the direction of Cape Bowden, clearly 
point out the course they had in view ; here no induce- 
ment could be held out to the sportsman to tarry, there 
is not even sufficient game for a single gun, far less to 
render it an eligible spot for pitching a tent as a mere 
shooting- station. 

The swampy flat, intersected by small lakes and water- 
courses, in the vicinity of Caswall Tower, is the only 
spot where the very few straggling wild-fowl that alight in 
this barren limestone region, on their way north, are to 
be met with ; and here I have followed Franklin's sledge 
tracks over the low shingle ridges in the direction of the 


Conchiding Remarks. 


tower, which was doubtless their shooting-station. The 
sledges must have passed in the summer season when 
the soil was plastic enough to leave impressions of their 
tracks behind them. Caswall Tower is an isolated pre- 
cipitous mount between three and four hundred feet in 
height, rising from a plain at the head of Radstock Bay 
and Gascoigne Cove, which I ascended, but found nothing 
whatever on its bare flat top, save a solitary lemming, 
which I captured. At its base are several circular ancient 
Esquimaux encampments, within which the wild flowers 
flourish more luxuriantly than in any other spot I met 
with. The distance is about ten miles from the ship. 

The greatest mystery of all is, that of no record hav- 
ing been left of their sojourn or departure ; so sanguine 
was I for a time that something might turn up to reward 
a diligent and persevering search, that I did not rest 
until I had closely examined every foot of ground for 
miles around ; ascending and descending every hill and 
ravine around the bay, and rambling over the mountain 
limestone table-land, far inland, till there was not a rock 
or ravine on the land, or hummock of ice on the floe, 
within a circuit of ,many miles, that was not as familiar 
to me as " household words." 

From my own experience, throughout a somewhat 
more severe winter, perhaps, than ordinary, I believe that 
sledge-travelling may be continued during an Arctic 
winter, without much risk or danger being incurred from 
the lowest temperature ; provided care is taken to erect 
a snow-hut, or, in cases of emergency when no time is to 
be lost, to cut a deep trench in the snow in time to secure 
shelter from an approaching gale and snow-drift. It 
must be kept in mind, that the same degree of cold which 
can be borne without inconvenience in a calm cannot be 
faced without severe frost-bites in a strong breeze of wind. 

In thus recording my opinion of the practicability of 
sk'dge-travelling in the winter season, I have, the testi- 




Voyages of Discovery. 

•^' :; ^ ] 

■V I 


V \ 

mony of those enterprising Arctic travellers, Kennedy 
and Bellot, in my favour, who, during the Prince Albert's 
voyage, practised it most successfully in mid-winter. I 
also have had opportunities of fairly testing the effects of 
a very low temperature on my own person on more than 
one occasion. My customary walk throughout the winter, 
whatever the state of the weather might be, was round 
Beechey Island, a distance of about six miles. This 
I accomplished once when the thermometer was 54° 
below zero on the floe, and to that low temperature I was 
exposed for two hours, without feeling any inconvenience 
from it, but there was little or no wind at the time. 

On another occasion I passed a whole day and night 
without food or shelter, beyond what the snow-drift 
afforded, about seven miles from the ship, having been 
overtaken by a dense fog on the open plain when return- 
ing from an excursion to Caswall Tower, accompanied by 
my friend Mr. Toms, of the North Star, and Erebus and 
Terror, my two Esquimaux dogs. When overwhelmed 
by the darkness of night blending with the fog, and a 
gale approaching, we cut with a hunting-knife a trench 
in the snow-clad plain, about two feet deep, and in this 
truly Arctic bivouac (at all times to be found) we, with 
our canine friends, passed the night, without a tent or 
other clothing than our usual walking-dress. 

The gale which swept over us soon forming a white 
coverlet of snow-drift, protected us from the blast, less 
than an hour's exposure to the inclemency and intensity 
of cold of which would inevitably have ended in our de- 
struction ; not even the dogs would have survived it. 
The thermometer that night fell to 32° below zero, or 64° 
below the freezing-point. The fog clearing off sufficiently 
to make out the land, about four o'clock in the morning 
we started again, and reached the ship between six and 
seven a.m., without having incurred even a frost-bite, and 
after an ablution and breakfast, felt as fresh as ever. 





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I I 

Concluding Remarks, 


I am, therefore, led to the conclusion, that Sir John 
Franklin's travelling-parties may have commenced their 
journeys up the Wellington Channel, with the first ap- 
pearance of the sun above the horizon early in the 
month of February, and after the discovery that the 
strait between the Franklin Capes in the Queen's 
Channel opened into a Polar ocean, started with his 
ships as soon as the bay ice broke up, most probably 
about the first week in September ; and if he had an 
open season would, with the aid of his screw-propellers, 
run up the Wellington Channel within the space of eight- 
and-forty hours. Then, probably tempted by the 
broad expanse of open water to the northward, or at any 
rate absence of land to obstruct his progress in that 
direction, he might reach a very high latitude, and gain 
a good offing of the Parry Islands, before he shaped a 
south-westerly course for Behring's Strait. As the 
season for navigation remaining after the 1st of Sep- 
tember, would be, however, necessarily a very short 
one, he was probably overtaken by winter, perhaps some 
six or seven hundred miles from Cape Lady Franklin, 
in a high latitude, and possibly well to the westward. 

Having thus attempted to follow up the track of the 
unfortunate ship so far by something like inductive 
reasoning, founded on inferences drawn from a know- 
ledge of the object they had in view, and the most pro- 
bable events and incidents likely to beset them in their 
path to mar its attainment, we now enter upon a field of 
speculation, wide enough indeed to fill a volume of itself. 
Having already extended these remarks to a greater 
length than I had intended, I will wind them up with a 
few words on the conclusion I have come to in my own 
mind, as to the fate of our gallant countrymen. Specu- 
lative as any opinion upon this subject, I am aware, must 
necessarily be, I have not arrived at mine either pre- 
maturely or hastily. No one but those who may have 




yq)'aj>-fs of Discovery. 


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^ :4 


ti : 


near relatives in the expedition, can possibly have felt 
deeper interest in this hapless search from first to last 
than I have, unless it is my friend Mr. Barrow, whose 
untiring exertions and devotion in this noble cause stand 
unequalled. Various associations combined to enlist my 
own sympathies in this search. They were my old ships, 
and engaged in a field of discovery to which I have long 
been ardently devoted, and in which my thoughts have 
been centred from my earliest youth, in addition to which 
there were those on board of both ships who were well 
known to me. 

My own impression is, that on the closing in of their 
second winter, the ships were either driven into some 
inlet, where they may have been blocked up ever since 
by the Polar pack, as happened to the Investigator in 
Mercy Bay ; or that they may have been driven on shore by 
the strong currents which set from the north-westward, 
when helplessly beset in the pack, drifting about in the 
narrow straits which separate one island from another in 
this Arctic archipelago. 

They- may, possibly, have reached even as far west 
as that large tract of land whose mountainous and 
lofty granitic peaks were seen by the Herald^ thus 
barring their further progress westward. But, under any 
of these circumstances, it does not follow that the lives 
of those on board would be necessarily involved in im- 
mediate destruction, c ;n were the ships stranded on 
some shore. They would, in all probability, be able to 
save the greater part of their provisions and stores (as 
Sir Edward Parry did in the loss of the Fury, on Fury 
Beach ; and which, years afterwards, proved the happy 
means of preserving the lives of Sir John Ross and his 
party). They might build huts and supply themselves with 
fuel from the wreck, and linger out an existence as long as 
their resources lasted. But here, however reluctantly, I 
must at the same time acknowledge that there would be 


Concludins^ Remarks. 


but little prospect of adding much to these in the re- 
gion in which their disaster would be likely to happen. 
In proof of this, I have only to add that had I lost my 
boat and the provisions when up the Wellington Channel, 
my boat's crew and myself could not have existed — 
although numbering only seven — on the produce of our 
guns, for one month ; and I had two or three good shots 
in my party, besides being myself an old sportsman, and 
rarely threw away a shot without obtaining something 
for it. Wild-fowl, doubtless, migrate to the very pole 
itself to rear their young, but this occupies only a short 
period of the season ; and the supplies to be obtained 
from such an uncertain source would be inadequate even 
for present wants, far less so to form a winter's store for 
a ship's company. 

Sad as the reflection must be, it is in vain to deny that 
the time has arrived when, indeed, it is " hoping against 
hope," and which suggested to me the name of " For- 
lorn Hope " for my boat. Nearly nine years have now 
elapsed since our countrymen left these shores ; and 
although I have been to the last one of the most san- 
guine in my hopes, I cannot help feeling now that traces 
of their fate, is all, unhappily, I have too much reason to 
fear, that remains to be discovered of them. But even 
this, in my opinion, will never be accomplished by ships. 
Nought else than the disastrous fate of the gallant 
Franklin and his followers can be possibly anticipated as 
the result of any attempt made by ships. 

R. McCoRMiCK. R.N. 





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Voyaij^es of Discovery. 

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.' s 





had under consideration the- best means of 
scurvy, and preserving health in the Arctic 

regions, I deem it my dt-ty to submit the following brief 
remarks for the use of future voyagers. In so doing, I 
shall confine myself wholly to the results of my own 
experience during a period of some years passed in the 
higher latitudes, feeling confident that attention to the 
precepts here inculcated will secure for those who may 
follow me as successful an exemption from scurvy and 
sickness as have crowned my own efforts, by a rigid 
adherence to them. 

In the first place, I would unhesitatingly recommend 
the entire exclusion of all kinds of salted meats from the 
diet, convinced as I am, from long experience and close 
attention to the effects of such food, that it proves, 
through its indigestibility and deficient nutriment, pro- 
perties injurious to the system, and deteriorating the 
condition of the circulating fluids and secretions gene- 
rally, — inducing a debilitated habit of body, favourable 
to the production of scurvy, under circumstances of pri- 
vation and exposure, and other exciting influences, cal- 
culated to call it into action. In fact, it is my belief that 
the origin of every case of scurvy may be fairly traced to 
the use of salted meats. 

Stiggestions for Preserving Health in Polar Regions. 173 

In the present age of inventions and improvements, 
there can be no lack of substitutes, and excellent ones 
too, for the hard salt beef and pork, and the whole 
category of dried tongues, hams, &c., which constituted 
the sea stock of bygone years, when every ship in a long 
voyage, as in Anson's time, lost great numbers of the 

Now, we have preserved meats, poultry, soups, pemmi- 
can, and fresh bacon of all kinds. The latter article, 
which was supplied for the first time to the expedition 
now out, especially that preserved in tins for the use of 
travelling- parties, proved the most valuable addition of 
all to the scale of Arctic victualling, its freshness and 
mildness rendering it easy of digestion, and its fatty 
quality rendering it highly nutritious by affording a large 
supply of carbonaceous material to make up for the 
constant waste occasioned by the increased exhalation of 
carbon which accompanies the activity of the respiration 
in very low temperatures of the atmosphere. 

The various kinds of vegetables, when carefully selected 
and preserved, are quite equal to the fresh ones ; more 
especially the preserved potato, carrot, parsnip, turnip, 
and peas ; and I cannot speak too highly of those 
bottled fruits, as the damson, greengage, currant and 
raspberry, gooseberry, and that perhaps best of all anti- 
scorbutic fruit, the cranberry, which is quite equal to the 
lime-juice in its valuable properties : all these fruits are 
quite as good as when first gathered. 

Dried fruits — apples, figs, prunes, raisins, and almonds, 
&c., are all objectionable. 

The best diluents are tea, coffee, and chocolate, more 
especially the patent chocolate which the travelling- 
parties were supplied with in the last expedition. Of 
spirits and wines, the less taken the better ; good sound 
malt liquors are preferable in all respects, combining, as 
they do, a nutritive with a stimulating property. 

I,'. Isl 


Voyages of Discovery. 


( ? 

r ^r 

On the subject of clothing, I have only to observe that 
I found the Government pilot-cloth suit, with a " sou'- 
wester," the most generally useful in summer or winter ; 
but for boating or sledging, in severe weather, I know of 
nothing equal to the Esquimaux seal-skin dress and fur 
boots. A common blanket bag I have always found far 
more comfortable than a felt one for sleeping in, when 
away travelling, with a buffalo robe beneath it. 

Of medical treatment, little is required. The bracing 
effects of a low, dry temperature, and the absence of all 
moisture in the atmosphere for a large portion of the 
year, so that not a cloud can form in the clear blue sky, 
render catarrhal and other affections resulting from atmo- 
spheric transitions of rare occurrence. 

During the dark and monotonous season of winter, 
active exercise in the open air, on the floe or on the land, 
is the very best preservative of health, aided by proper 
attention to diet ; the mind being at the same time en- 
gaged in rational occupations, reading, writing, sketch- 
ing, or whatever may be the bent of individual taste. 

When sufficient exercise is not taken, and the diet 
has been too full and liberal, a congestive state of the 
internal organs is often the result, attended with a drowsi- 
ness during the day and broken rest at night. The best 
remedy I have found in such cases is a six-grain dose of 
calomel, and, to allay the disposition to watchfulness, 
about a scruple of the compouud ipecacuanha or Dover's 
powder, given at bed-time. Loss of appetite, from want 
of tone and energy in the digestive organs, sometimes 
follows the effects of a long and tedious winter in some 
constitutions. A wineglassful of quinine wine, given 
twice a day, is the most efficacious remedy in these 
cases ; it is best prepared by dissolving about a scruple 
of quinine, with the same quantity of citric acid, in a 
wineglassful of water, and then adding it to a bottle of 
wine, either port or sherry, as may best suit the occasion. 

Suggestions for Preserving Health in Polar Regions. 175 

In conclusion, I have only to add, in confirmation of 
these views, that in three voyages which I have made to 
the Polar regions — two to the north and one to the south, 
the latter of four years' duration, — embracing every 
possible transition of climate and exposure, I have never 
lost a single life, or even had a case of serious sickness 
or scurvy throughout a period of Polar service falling 
little short of seven years. 

R. McCoRMiCK, R.N. 

wk- • 

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Voyages of Discovery. 


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To Captain Sir E. Bei.cher, C.B., H.M.S. Assistance. 

■ Her Majesty's Ship North Star, 
Erebus and Terror Bay, 
3rd March, 1853. 

Sir, — I have the honour to transmit to you a narrative 
of my boat expedition up Wellington Channel, and sledge 
journey round Baring Bay, in search of Sir John Franklin. 

Having left the ship on the morning of the 19th of 
August, and returned on board again on the night of the 
8th of September last, after an absence of three weeks, 
during the whole of which time the weather was most 
unfavourable for boat service, having been tempestuous 
and overcast in the extreme, — a succession of north- 
westerly gales, which, with strong currents, rendered the 
navigation of this channel a very dangerous one for boats, 
and not a place of shelter between the last bay and 
Baring Bay. 

After a week passed in a most careful search of Baring 
Bay all round, and ascending the inland ridges of hills, 
I neither found an opening to the eastward or a surface 
practicable for sledging over ii: nd ; the whole forming 
a succession of steep ridges, with intervening ravines 
filled with snow, and running parallel with the top of the 

There was no indication whatever of open water in the 

[I I 

1; i 

Letter to the Commodore, 


vicinity ; the gulls and other sea-fowl never shaped their 
course to the eastward. 

Therefore in all probability Jones Sound, instead of 
continuing its course to the westward from Baffin Bay, 
soon trends round to the north-west. On my return 
down channel I carefully examined every headland and 
bay, unhappily without finding the slightest trace of the 
missing ships. 

Five of theF:e bays, and several of the most prominent 
headlands between Point Bowden and Cape Osborn, not 
laid down in the chaits, I have availed myself of the 
usual privilege of explorers, and given names to them. 

My party returned on board in good health ; and I 
have great satisfaction in bearing testimony to their 
exceeding good conduct, and they having volunteered to 
accompany me again in the spring search, I have here- 
with to submit for your consideration my purposed plan 
for carrying out that search. 

In your letter of the 13th of August last I was told 
that the Assistance and Pioneer would complete the 
search of the Wellington Channel, and that my course 
must be to the eastward of this meridian. Sledging, 
therefore, will be entirely out of the question, as Lan- 
caster's Sound opens too early to permit of travelling 
over the ice to any distance and back again. 

The boat, however, which I had last (and we have 
none better adapted on board) is wholly inadequate for 
so long a voyage as the one contemplated, viz. the ex- 
ploration of Jones and Smith Sounds, more especially as 
since your departure Commander Inglefield, in the 
Isabel, has been so far up both these sounds as to render 
it very improbable that a boat, stowing barely a month's 
provisions, could remain out sufficiently long to enable 
her to accomplish anything beyond what he has already 

The plan, therefore, I have to propose is, that the 
vor. II. si 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

Mary yacht, left by Admiral Sir John Ross, and now 
lying here useless, should be placed at my disposal, with 
two additional hands, and provisioned for three months, 
with a gutta percha boat (left here by the Prince Albert) 
for hauling over the ice, should the floes in the sounds 
not have broken up. To start immediately after the 
return of the party, conveying your authority so to do, 
and by which time the navigation in Barrow Strait will 
most probably be open. 

I am, Sec, 


§ r 

ft IJ- 

P.S. The departure of the sledge-parties for the 
rendezvous depots, being a month earlier than antici- 
pated, a series of sketches, comprising the headlands 
and bays between Beechey Island and Point Hogarth, 
Baring Bay (which I had taken for the purpose of illus- 
trating a track-chart on which they are laid down from 
compass bearings), not being finished, I must reserve for 
a future opportunity. — R. McC. 


i ! ( 

The Secretary of the Admiralty to 
Surgeon McCoRMiCK, R.N. 

Admiralty, 13th of October, 1853. 
Sir, — I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners 
of the Admiralty to acknowledge the receipt of your 
narrative of an expedition under your orders in a boat of 
H.M. Discovery Ship North Star, up the eastern shore 
of Wellington Channel and round Baring Bav, for the 
purpose of discovering traces of Sir John Franklin's 


Letter from the Secretary of the Admiralty. 179 

My Lords approve of your exertions on this occasion, 
and of the conduct of your boat's crew on a service in- 
curring both risk and hardship, and are satisfied with the 
efforts you made in determining the important question 
as to there being any connection between Baring Bay and 
Jones Sound. 

I am, &c., 
(Signed) W. A. B. Hamilton. 

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Quercus McCormickii, or Tartary Oak. 


: Son, liith- 


Early life— Career as medical student — Entering the navy. 

Mv father, the late Robert McCormIck, a surgeon 
in the Royal Navy, was born under the same old 
homestead in which his father, also named Robert, 
first saw the light — Ballyreagh, in the county of 
Tyrone, Ireland, which with its lands has been for 
generations in the possession of the family. The estate 

. VOL. II. 

•: yaiw 


\ i 



i I '•' ♦! 

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is situated between Cook's Town and Dungannon, near 
Lough Neagh. My father entered the Royal Nuvy 
in the year 1795; his first -appointment to II. M.S. 
J^oxvcrful, of eighty-four guns, bears the ihite of the 
I 7th of July, from which ship he was jiromoted to the 
Inspector sloop-of-war ; and after a career of much w;ir 
service, lost his life in the shipwreck of II. M.S. Defence, 
of seventy-four guns, on the Christmas Eve of the year 
181 1, when convoying a di:;abled ship, the St. George of 
ninety-eight guns, bearing the flag of the late Rcar- 
Admiral Reynolds, homeward-bound with the Baltic 
fleet. Both shij)S were wrecked in a dreadful hurricane 
within a mile or two of each other, on a reef off the 
coast of Jutland, and with the exception of a few of the 
seamen Trom each ship thrown on shore clinging to the 
spars, their, crews, numbering some 1300 and upwards 
of officers and men, perished in this melancholy cata- 

I was b<jrn at the commencement of the century, on the 
22nd of July, 1800, in the village of Runham, near Great 
Yarmouth, in the county of Norfolk, where I passed the 
first six years of my life, not very far from the birth-place 
of the immortal Nelson, England's greatest admiral, who, 
like myself, in early life evinced a strong bias for Polar 
discovery, having accompanied Captain Phipps (after- 
wards Lord Mulgrave) in his attempt to reach the North 
Pole in the latter part of the last century, as I did in the 
( arly portion of the present one under the command of 

So attached was I to a rural life, that in subsequent 
years, until 1 had completed my second decade in life's 
journe}', I was indeed a very frequent sojourner in my 
nativ(.' village. Notwithstanding that, tlcstiny had de- 
creed the best part of my life for the future was to be 
passed on a widely different element, the boist(;rous 
ocean. My taste for natural history developed itself at 


liarly Tastes. 


an early aije, bei,nnnin,i,^ with the collection of the nests 
and eg<^s of the birds of the surroundinj^ district. 

l'V()ntinif my birth-place a lari^e tract of marsh and 
mc.'idovv land extended over what once formed an estuary 
between the now port f)f Varmoiilh and at present inland 
city of Norwich. Hounding the horizon to the south, the 
Suffolk uplands are plainly visible, and two very strikinijf 
clumps of trees o|)posite indicate the site of the ancient 
Roman ruin of BurLjh Castle. Through this extent of 
marsh-land the river Yare winds its course;, with here and 
there the picturesque sails of a water-mill and its adjacent 
th Itched house, or the brov/n-tanned sails of a Norfolk 
wliJ'rry, passing and repassing with a freight of the 
produce of the farm, consisting of grain, &c., for the 

These meadows then abouniled in the spring of the 
year with plover, snipe, and other water-fowl, and were the 
favouritebrceding-placeof the lapwing ( Vancllii.s , n'sialiis), 
where my early morning excursions usually led to a 
discovery of their nests and beautifully mottled (!ggs, 
having an olive-green ground, blotched over with rich 
brown spots four in number, most symmetrically placed 
with the smaller ends converging downwards in a super- 
ficial depression, formed generally on the margin of some 
dried-up stream, where the grass had become withered 
and yellow. Over tliis lowly nest the excited [parent 
birds, in their anxiety for their treisure, wheel round the 
intruder's head with their large slowly-flapping wings in 
a circular flight, repeating their jjleasing yet plaintive 
and somewhat melancholy cry of " Pewit, pewit," and 
endeavouring with great tact to lead him away frc^n the 
tabooed spot. Whilst llie Jack sni[)e, soaring on high, 
suddenly descends with tlie rapidity of an arrow shot 
from the bow, and with a ioud whirring souuvl as he 
a[jproaches in his descent the n(;st so carefully concealed 
within a tuft of long grass, in which small " wigwam " the 




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m lif 1 a 


iff 1 1 "^I'l' 


A utobiography. 

partner of his domestic cares sits, diligently covering her 
four pretty speckled eggs. 

On the reed-fringed banks of the river 1 have often 
angled for perch and roach ; and began my ornithological 
pursuits with an old ship's pistol taken from some prize 
by my father. (This ship's pistol recalls to memory a 
remarkable incident in my poor father's naval career. 
The ship on board which he was serving at the time had 
captured a prize, the crew of which had been bulk- 
headed off in the forepart of the ship, when about the mid- 
night hour my father, having gone forward to the sick- 
bay on a visit to the wounded, was startled by the appear- 
ance of one of the prisoners who had cut his way througli 
the bulkhead with a knife, which had been concealed 
beneath the sleeve of his loose sailor's frock, and which 
knife I recollect v/ell when a boy, for by disarming him my 
father saved his s^ip.) I can even now, at this distance of 
time, recall v-vidly to mind the enthusiasm of the moment 
when with it 1 shot my //ri-/ bird, which happened to be 
a poor inoffensive hedge-sparrow, or " accentor," hopping 
in its silent, quiet way from spray to spray in the hedge- 
row of what was called by the villagers the " Long Lane," 
in contradistinction to one called the " Short Lane," 
running at right angl(-s witii it, on the left hedge-side of 
which I also found nty first bird's nest, containing the 
singularly veined, beautiful eggs of the yellow-hammer 
i^Evibcriza citrine lid). After a time a small fowling-piece 
superseded the old pistol, with which I ventur<'d on some- 
what larger game, and shot a starling ; and I U;lieve the 
first bird on the wing was a partridge, if my memory does 
not fail me. 

In the year 1806 we removed to Yarmouth for my 
education ; and subsequently I accr)mpanied my mother 
to Londcm, to meet my father, whose shi[j, the Jhlphin 
frigate, was refitting at Deptford, where we remained for 
a few weeks with him at lodgings near the dockyard gate. 

i \ 

Walking the Hospitals. 


On returning to Yarmouth again, and having com- 
pleted my education, I entered th^ medical profession, as 
the only chance now left me of mcering upon a naval life. 
My father's untimely loss, togrdier with the subsequent 
peace following so soon upon ii, proved an insurmountable 
barrier to my entering the service in the executive line 
as a midshipman, which had ever been the whole ambi- 
tion of my existence. Born as I was, within sound of the 
surf breaking on the sandy seashore, and the report of the 
evening sunset-gun — fired by the old Roebuck, sevcmty- 
four, at that time the guardship in Yarmouth roads — 
die predilection for a sea life, enhanced as it was by 
surrounding associations, became ultimately a settled 
conviction with me. 

During my subsequent long residence in Yarmouth, my 
favourite walks were the beach and the old jetty, looking 
out for the arrival and departure; of the few ships of war 
on the station, and watching with a lively interest their 
boats approaching in their jjassage to and fro, or the 
ships themselves coming to an anchor, or getting under 
weigh, with the firing of salutes, and other operations. 

One beautiful corvette especially, mounting twenty 
guns, a very model of symmetry in naval architecture 
— which our transatlantic cousins, the Americans, know 
so well how to build, called the Florida, taking her 
name from the coast off which she was captured by us 
(luring the war — was a great fav'ourite with mc;, and 
never since have I met with her equal, either in beauty 
and symmetry of hull and spars ux unrivalled speed. .She 
was commanded whilst on the North .Sea station by a 
Captain Hawtaine. 

On every holiday during my school days in Yarmouth 
I made excursions to Runhani, acros:: the intervening 
tract of marsh-land, some five miles from my residence 
to that of my grandfather's, where I was bf)rn. .Starting 
in the morning and returning the same evening, usually 

■"'t i] 

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A utobiography. 


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with my gun or fishing-rod, I was mostly accompanied 
on my way home by my good and considerate old 
grandfather — with whom I had always been a great 
favourite — as far as what was called the " Osier Ground " 
and the " Pickerel Dyke," bridged over by a plank, about 
half the distance of my journey. 

In 1820 I accompanied my mother and two sisters to 
the pretty rural village of Belton in Suffolk, situated about 
the same distance from Yarmouth as my own native village, 
which may be seen across the marshes bounding the 
opposite horizon. Here we resided for a year, and then 
removed to Southtown, the charming suburb of Yar- 

In the autumn of the year 1821 I went to London, 
to attend the hospitals of Guy's and 3t. Thomas's, 
as a pupil of the late Sir Astley Cooper, returning 
home for the summer vacation. In the following 
autumn I returned to the hospitals, and after obtaining 
the required certificates for passing my examination at 
the Royal College of Surgeons, the diploma as a member 
cf the college was awarded me on the 6th of December, 

On my return to Southtown I soon afterwards received 
an answer to the application for an appointment as an 
Assistant-Surgeon in the Navy, which I had addressed 
to the Admiralty imr^^ediately I became a member of the 
college. The letter directed me to appear at Somerset 
House to pass my examination, and on Friday, the 18th 
of April, 1823, I was passed by Dr. Weir. On the 
following day, Saturday, the 19th, I received my appoint- 
ment as Supernumerary Assistant-Surgeon of H.M.S. 
Queen Charlotte, of 108 guns, bearing the flag of Sir 
James Hawkins Whitshed, Admiral of the Red, at 

Having returned toSouthtown.I again left at three p.m. 
on Thursday, the 24th, by the Yarmouth mail-coach, and 

My First Appointment, 


at seven a.m. on the following morning I arrived at the 
" Spread Eagle Inn," Gracechurch .Street, from which I 
proceeded at once by the coach to Portsmouth, reaching 
the " Fountain Inn," in the High Street, at five p.m., 
where I slept. 

On Saturday, the 26th, I joined 1 1. M.S. Queen 
Charlotte, and ten weeks afterwards, whilst on shore at 
Haslar Hospital on duty, received an appointment as a 
Supernumerary for the West India Station, and to 
embark in the next packet from Falmouth. 

On Saturday, the 5th of July, I left the Queen Charlotte 
in a packet-boat for Plymouth, but, owing to boisterous 
weather, had to put into Portland Roads, where I went 
on shore and slept at the small inn, and walked across 
the (,'hesil Beach to Weymouth. On at last reach- 
ing Plymouth, I proceeded from thence to Falmouth 
by coach, where, arriving too late for the packet, I had 
to remain for above three weeks at " .Selly's Green Bank 
Hotel" for the sailing of the next packet, during which 
time I took a trip to Plymouth and back in the Frolic 
sloop-of-war packet. 

On Monday, the iith of August, at two p.m., I bid 
adieu to England, and sailed from Falmouth in the 
Sandwich packet, commanded by Adoniah Schuyler, with 
six other passengers, four of them Supernumerary 
Assistant-Surgeons, who, like myself, were destined to 
fill up vacancies occasioned by the yellow fever on the 
Jamaica Station, The two others were Jamaica 


:.♦ ■ '■ 

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Ihe Diamond Rock, Martinique. {!>ee fac^c 192.) 


First voyage to the West Indies — Arrival at Barbadoes — Invalided — 
Return home in H.M.S. Icarus. 

Sailing from ['"almouth on the iith of August, 1823, 
wc early in the morning of the 25th saw the island 
of Ma<l 1 appearing like a faint blue, cloud bounding 
the horizon. On the 30th we crossed the Tropic of 

On Friday, the 12th of Septemlcr, at six p.m., we 
anchored in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, after a fme passage 
of thirty-two d.i\ s from lingland. ICarly on the follow- 
ing morninL: I landed for th<; first time in my life on a 
tropical shore, walked round Bridgetown, and through 
several of the plantations in the vicinity. At " Hannah 
Lewis's Hotel," commanding a delightful prospect of the 
bay, I rested for awhih;^ and feasted on .some of the 
delicious fruits of the tropics, washed down by a draught 
of that refreshing and cooling beverage of the West- 


First Visit to yamaica. 


India Islands, " sangrec," and, after returning on board, 
wc got under weigh again at five p.m. 

Sunday, i^t/i. — Hovc-to off Kingston Bay, in the 
island of St, Vincent, to send a boat on shore with 
the mail. 

Monday, i^ih. — Anchored off George Town, Grenada, 
and as, after delivering the mail, we sailed again the same 
evening, I had only just time to run on shore and make 
a hasty survey of the town. 

Monday, 22nd, — We anchored at eleven a.m. in Port 
Royal Harbour, Jamaica, having been nine days running 
down the trade-winds from Barbadoes, and exactly six 
weeks from England. As soon as the packet came to 
an anchor I repaired on board of the Gloucester, seventy- 
four, bearing the broad pennant of Commodore Sir 
\i. W. C. R. Owen, Commander-in-Chief on the West- 
India Station. The following ships of war were at 
anchor in the harbour : Ifypcrion and Pyramus, frigates; 
Ca7'nation, of iiighumnguna, Bnstai'd, ten, Grecian cutter, 
two schooners, and the Serapis, convale.scent ship. On 
the following day I was transferred from the Gloucester 
to the latter ship, where I remained until the Com- 
mcjdore appointed me to a sloop of war of eighteen 
guns, under orders for the Windward Station. During 
the seventeen days which I remained in Port Royal 
Harbour I went on shore several times, and once to 

V'kursday; October C)th. — We sailed at daybreak for 
the Windward Station, on our way calling at Car- 
thagena, on the Sf)anish main, and then running ov( r 
to the island of St. I^omingo, calling at St. Nicholas 
Mole, at the western end of the island, and beating 
up against the trade-wind on the north side;. We 
called at the old city of Caj^e Hayti, also at St. Juan, 
Porto Rico ; and after our arrival at Barbadoes, our 
future head-quarters, we were employed cruising after 

1 1 


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^Hil^^' *ir^^ 


v^ titohiography . 

pirates and slavers, with which the Caribbean sea was 
then much infested, and convoyiniLj^ merchant-vessels 
throuj^h the passages clear of the islands. DurinL^ this 
period of a year and nine months I was enabled to see 
all the islands of the Windward Group, and visit most of 
them personally, and aloni;- tlie S[)anisli main fnjm 
Carthat^ena to the Gulf of Paria, Demerara, Para, on 
the mighty Amazon river, and across the lujuator. Put 
owing to want of space, which I wish to reserve for a 
full account of my voyages to the Poles, I can only 
afford to give a brief outline here. 

Tiicsday^Jiily nth, 1825. — About noon we returned 
to Jamaica, anchoring in Port Royal 1 larbour, and, as 
my health had suffered severely from an attack of yellow 
fever, and a very uncomfortable ship, ill-suited for a con- 
valescent, I invalided, and was ordered a passage home 
in H.M.S. Icarus, one of the old ten-gun brigs, called 
"coftins," from so many of them having foundered at sea, 
being never heard of after. From their peculiar build and 
size, if taken aback in a squall, they were liable to go down 
stern foremost. We were crowded with supernumeraries, 
and having a prolonged passage, although a fine one, ran 
short of water. But the Commander, John George 
Graham, brother of the Scotch Professor of Botany of 
that name, was an excellent fellow, and did everything 
in his power to make all of us as comfortables under 
unavoidable privations as was possible. 

Thursday, 28M. — At daybreak we sailed from Port 
Royal, and, after a somewhat long passage, anchored at 
Spithead at eight a.m. on Sunday, the 1 ith of .September. 
At four p.m. I landed at Point, and slept at the " Star 
Tavern," after two years and one month's absence. 

Summary. — Of all the beautiful islands forming the 
Windward Group, Martinique struck me as the gem of 
the Caribbean Sea. I first saw it on the 30th of .Sep- 
tember, 1824, at ten a.m. ; but having only hove- to to 

Ftsif to the Jhianic Carc/ciis, Martinique. 193 

send a boat on shore, in which I had not an ojjportunit)' 
of landinjr, I made a sketch from the ship's deck. Sub- 
sequently, however, on the 24th of the November fol- 
lowing, we paid a second and last visit to the island, 
iinchorint,^ off St. I'ierre at nine a.m., where we found a 
French man-of-war brij,^ of si.xteen guns at anchor. On 
the following morning, at early dawn of the 25th, I went 
on shore, and made an excursion to the fine botanic 
warden on the right of the town. It is a delightful spot, 
irrigated by a splendid water-fall descending from the 
summit of the mountain, at the base of which the taste- 
fully laid-out garden is situated ; the loud musical sound 
of the falling water reaches 1' »; ear before the cataract 
itself comes in view. I had an interview with the 
venerable old I'Vench botanist, who was accomi)anied by 
a bevy of beautiful young French girls, his pupils, to 
whom he introduced me. The streets of St. Pierre have 
a running stream of water in the centre, rendering them 
remarkably cool and pleasant. I went to the hotel, where 
I got some fine ginger and Guava jelly preserves. 

At Bermuda I met with an old messmate of my poor 
father's, James Squire, the master-attendant of the dock- 
yard, upon whom I called. The characteristic feature 
of vegetation of the islands is the cedar (jf iinipenis Bar- 
badensis). Among the birds of these cedar groves the 
most striking are the " Blue Bird" {Sialia sialis),\hii 
"Red Bird" or "Summer Bird" {Pyravga estiva), ?Lm\ 
the "Red Cardinal" (Cardinalis virginiansis). At sea 
the " Sheerwater " {Rynchops nigra) is a great wanderer, 
as he glides over the crests of the rolling waves, with 
his long pointed wings uplifted at an angle with his 
body, and the black " Man-of-war " bird, with his bright 
crimson crop [Pelicanus frigata)., soaring on high with 
great extent of wing ; and further south may be seen the 
pretty " Blue Petrel " [Proicllaria cartdcd) and many 
other sea birds. 

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On the home station — Employed in the coast blockade — Apply to join 
Captain Parry — Appointed to the Heda — Pass examination at 
Royal College of Surgeons, and at Naval Medical Board — Depart 
for Spitzbergen. 

On Sunday, the i8th of September, 1825, I left the 
" Star " and proceeded by the Portsmouth coach to Lon- 
don, where I arrived the same evening. 

Friday, 23^^. — I passed the customary examination at 
the Admiralty, as an invalid, and on Wednesday, the 
28th, I received an appointment to H.M.S. Ramillies oS. 
seventy-four guns, stationed as the coast blockade ship in 
the Downs; and on the following day at eight a.m. I pro- 
ceeded by coach to j<|fin her, arriving at Deal at seven p.m. 

Friday, T^oi/i. — Reported myself at the Admiralty Office, 
as it was blowing too hard for any boat to get off to the 

Having on Saturday, the ist of October, joined the 
RaviiUies, on the 5th I volunteered for her tender, the 
Antelope cwVi^x q{ 120 tons, to cruise in the North Sea 
during the winter months, encountering heavy gales of 
wind and a boisterous sea off the coast of Holland, and 
saw the Texel lights, expecting every mom^.nt to be 
driven on shore during one dark, tempestuous night. 
We were driven over the Newark Sands, when a Witi- 
terton boat coming off to us, I embraced the opportunity 
thus afforded to land in her, and send off a pilot from 
Ya mouth. Those splendid boatmen succeeded in a 
marvellous manner to beach their boat through a tre- 


Ilpplc Hay Station, 


mcmlous surf and heavy rollers. I manacjcd, after some 
difficulty, to iTct a conveyance from Wiiitcrton to Yar- 
mouth in a smuj4-i,der's cart, reaching Southtown between 
the hours of eight and nine p.m. on Wednesday, 
the 9th of November; and, having sent off a pilot to the 
cutter, I remained for a brief visit with my mother and 

Friday, November \^th. — At nine a.m. I went by coach 
to Norwich, and slept at the Norfolk Hotel. On the 
following morning I took the coach, passing through East 
Dereham, Lynn, Wisbeach, &c. On Sunday, the 20th, 
at six p.m., I crossed the Humber in the steamboat, 
and rejoined the Antelope, lying in the dock-basin, Hull, 
on the same evening. 

Stmday, December 18///, at eleven a.m. — After a month's 
very agreeable sojourn at Hull, and making some rambles 
in the vicinity, we got under weigh again for the Downs, 
where we came to an anchor on Saturday, 24th, at two p.m. 

Sunday, June wth, 1826. — Having received orders 
to relieve the medical officer in charge of the Epple Bay 
Station, who, from illness, was incapacitated from perform- 
ing his duty at the shore stations along the coast, I left 
in the Ramillies galley, and landing at Margate Pier 
at seven p.m., I walked to the Epple Bay watch-house, 
where I was kindly welcomed by the officer in charge, 
Lieutenant John Stephen, and his wife and sister, Miss 
Sarah Warner. Instead of having to seek lodgings for 
a temporary stay, they insisted on my remaining under 
the same roof with them and joining their mess, having 
a bed made up for me on the couch, as there was not a 
spare bedroom. Thus I passed the summer very agree- 
ably, visiting the various stations under my charge along 
the cliffs on either side, from Ramsgate to the St. Nicho- 
las Station, embracing Westgate, Newgate, Kingsgate, 
Broadstairs, and Margate Stations ; when, having received 
orders to return on board, on Friday, the 25th of August, 

o 2 


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L25 III 1.4 
















A utobiog raphy . 

at nine a.m. I embarked in the Julia tender for the 
Downs, and at four p.m. rejoined the Ramilties. 

Monday, September ^th, — I wrote a letter to the Ad- 
miralty requesting to be superseded, with the intention 
of making every effort in my power to get out with 
Captain Parry in his proposed expedition to attempt to 
reach the North Pole. 

IVedmsday, 13///.— I was superseded, and on Saturday, 
the 16th, at five p.m., I left the RamillieSy after about a 
year's service on the coast blockade. 

Monday, 25///. — I made personal application at Somer- 
set House to be appointed to the North Polar Expe- 
dition, when I was told by Dr. Weir, the medical commis- 
sioner, that Captain Parry had the selection of his officers. 
I therefore on the following day obtained an interview with 
Captain Parry himself at the Admiralty. He said, having 
already many volunteers on his list, and one especially 
recommended to him for the appointment by the captain- 
superintendent of Haslar Hospital, he could only enter 
my name as a candidate. Undismayed, however, at not 
getting a de^ ;sive answer, I sought to obtain the influence 
of my old tutor. Sir Astley Cooper, to back me up ; and 
on I'riday, the 29th, I had an interview with him at 
Spring Gardens. Sir Astley received me most kindly, 
expressed an interest in my enterprise, and said he 
thought he could manage this for me with Parry, whose 
brother, Dr. Charles Parry, he told me, had been a pupil 
of his. So taking up a pen and sheet of paper, he wrote 
a line or two to Captain Parry, handing it to me open and 
unsealed, which, on the following day, Saturday, the 30lh, 
I placed in Captain Parry's hands at the Admiralty, when 
he said, " This speaks volumes for you, and as you appear 
to be so enthusiastic in the service, I shall nominate you 
at once ; therefore lose no time in going into Norfolk to 
take leave of your friends." Sir Astley and myself were 
both natives of the same county ; Sir Astley's father had 


Join H.M.S. " Heciar 


been rector of Great Yarmouth, where he himself was 

IVednesiiay, October i lih. — I again called on Captain 
Parry at the Admiralty, when I was told by him that the 
Hecla would be commissioned on the 14th of November. 

Thursday, 1 2th. — At Captain Parry's request I had an 
interview with Mr. Charles James Beverley, his former 
medical officer in the late expeditions in search of the 
North-West Passage, and who was going out in the forth- 
coming expedition, nominally as naturalist, to enable him 
to get reinstated in his rank on the Navy List, from which 
his name had been removed for refusing to serve when 
called upon. I saw both himself and his wife at his 
residence in the North Crescent, Bedford Square. 

Monday^ 16th. — On finding myself appointed to the 
ffcc/a by Captain Parry, I called on Sir Astley Cooper, to 
actjuaint him with it, and to thank him. 

Saturday, 2 u/.— At five a.m. I left the "Spread Eagle," 
Gracechurch Street, by coach, for Yarmouth, and reached 
Southtown, the residence of my mother and sisters, 
about ten p.m. 

Monday, November i^th. — At three p.m. 1 left Southtown 
by the mail coach, and arrived in London on the following 
morning at eight o'clock ; and on Wednesday, the 1 5th, 
took up my appointment to H.M.S. Hecla,)ovc\\ng her 
about noon on Saturday, the 1 8th, when her pennant was 
hoisted by Mrs. Parry. 1 paid a visit to my old cutter, 
the Antelope, lying ofTthe dockyard. 

Wednesday, 22nd. — This afternoon got my baggage on 
board the Heclas hulk, Heroine. Slept at an inn in 
Deptford ; and on the following day took up my quarters 
on board the hulk. 

Wednesday, December 20th. — Received the Heclas 
supply of medicines and stores from the Victualling Yard 
at Deptford. 

Tuesday, yanuary i6th, 1S27. — I went to town and 





A utobiography. 

;t .1 

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ordered a double-barrelled gun at Wilkinson's, of Ludgate 
Hill, to be made expressly for me, with case and every- 
thing complete. 

Monday, 2 2 «d^.— Captain and Mrs. Parry came on 
board ih^Hecla, and remained until Thursday, the 25th. 

Saturday, February 10//1. — 1 went to Wilkinson's and 
saw the barrels of my new gun, and selected a handsome 
walnut stock for it. 

Tuesday, 20th. — The river was full of floating ice, and 
partially frozen over near its banks. On the following 
day I went to town, and got a letter from the naval 
Medical Commissioners to the College of Surgeons, 
applying for an examination, for notwithstanding I was 
already a member of the College, the regulations of the 
service required at the expiration of three years a 
certificate from the College of fitness for the rank of full 
surgeon in the navy. On returning to Deptford in the 
evening, I found the lower water-gate so beset with ice 
as to prevent the wherries from getting off, and I was 
compelled to go round to the dockyard and get on board 
the hulk by means of a kind of chair, made for the 
purpose, and drawn along a rope fixed between the 
dockyard and hulk, and thence from the hulk in a boat 
to the Hecla. 

Friday, 23/-^, at six p.m. — I passed the required exami- 
nation at the Royal College of Surgeons, and went to 
Covent Garden Theatre afterwards. On the following 
day I obtained the certificate from the College, and took 
it to Somerset House. On Monday, the 26th, at one p.m., 
I was again examined by Dr. Weir, the Medical Commis- 
sioner, for the rank of full surgeon, and received the cer- 
tificate at the secretary's office on the following morning. 

Tuesday, March 6th. — Went to the Victualling Yard 
at Deptford, and ordered the remainder of extra supply 
of medical stores for this particular service, which came 
on board on Thursday, the 8th. 

Departure from Deptford. 


Monday, nth. — I went to town, and tried my new gun 
at Wilkinson's shooting-ground, witli Mr. Wilkinson, jun., 
and my young friend and brother officer, Pierce Power, 
R.N., also the son of an old naval surgeon, and the friend 
of the celebrated Barry O'Meara, surgeon of the ship 
which took the great Napoleon to St. Helena, where he 
became his medical attendant, and published an account 
of his exile in the " Voice from St. Helena." Poor Power 
sailed for the West Indies in the Harpy ^ ten-gun brig, 
which was never afterwards heard of, and doubtless 
foundered at sea. 

Saturday, ijth. — The ships company had a dinner 
given them on board by Captain Parry ; and a party of 
the captain's friends, ladies and gentlemen, came on 
board and witnessed the proceedings. 

Wednesday, 21st. — We had a number of visitors on 
board to-day to see the ship ; and on the following day 
the numbers were greatly increased. 

Friday, 23^^^. — The ship's company mustered at 
divisions, with the officers in cocked hats and swords, to 
receive the Lordsof the Admiralty, with a great number 
of visitors to see the ship. On the day following, the 
ship's company were shifted from the hulk to the Hecla, 
the boats were got on board, and everything made 
ready for sea. Our decks to-day were so crowded 
with visitors, both ladies and gentlemen of all ranks, that 
it became extremely difficult to niake one's way along 
cither upper or lower deck, or from one cabin to 

On Sunday, March 25th, at ten a.m., we cast oft" from 
the hulk, and went down the river. 




^ utobiography, 


Return— Promoted— Study botany — A year's leave — Appointed to the 



Thursday, November is/, 1827. — The Hecla, on her 
return from the Arctic seas, having been paid off at Dept- 
ford, we had a parting dinner at Hill's "Ship Tavern," 
Charing Cross, and I took up my quarters at my old 
lodgings. No. 4. Duke Street, Adelphi, and applied for 
two months' leave of absence to prepare my accounts for 

Tuesday, 20///. — I applied for my promotion, by for- 
warding a memorial of my services to the Lord High Ad- 
miral, his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, through 
whom I had the gratification to receive it, promptly and 
at once, without having my memorial backed up by any 
interest or influence whatever, either from my old captain 
or the Medical Board ; my commission, which was dated 
the 27th of November, appointing me to H.M.S. Nelson 
for rank. 

Friday, December 1 1///. — I applied for six months' 
further leave on half-pay, and obtained it. 

Saturday, 1 2tli. — I left town by the seven p.m. Norwich 
coach for Yarmouth ; reached Norwich on the following 
morning, and the same evening took the coach to Yar- 
mouth, where I arrived late, and walked home to South- 

Monday, March loth, 1828. — I left Southtown by the 

lixcnrsions a/otit^ the South Coast. 

20 1 

five a.m. coach for London, arriving at the " Spread 
Kagle," Gracechurch Street, at nine p.m., and from thence 
went to my lodgings, No. 4, Duke Street, Adelphi. 

Thursday, 20th. — I purchased Captain Parry's quarto 
narrative of our voyage at Murray's, in Albemarle Street. 

Tuesday, April \st. — I took the coach to Kew Gar- 
dens, and walked from thence to Richmond and Twicken- 
ham, returning by the Twickenham coach to town. On 
the following day ! took the coach to Camberwell and 
Denmark Hill, and walked from thence through Dulwich 
back to town. My object was to find a suitable place 
of residence for my mother and sisters. 

Thursday, p'd. — I went by coach to Wimbledon, 
alighted on the common, strolled through the park to 
Wandsworth and Clapham, returning to town by the 
Clapham coach. On the following day I took coach to 
Hampstead, and walked back to town. 

Monday, "jth. — I received from my agents, Messrs. 
Cook and Halford, two proof copies of the battle 
of Navarino, by my old friend, Sir J. Theophilus Lee, 
to which I had been a subscriber. 

Wednesday, <)th. — At ten a.m. I left town by the 
Hastings coach from the " Bolt-in-Tun," Fleet Street, 
for an excursion along the South Coast. Arrived at the 
"Castle Hotel," Hastings, at seven p.m., and on the fol- 
lowing day I rambled in the vicinity, along the beach, 
to where the beautiful town of St. Leonard's now stands. 
The stone called the Conqueror's Table had only just 
been raised from its ancient site, on which two hotels 
are now, with a row of lodging-houses, building. The 
next morning I took the coach to Brighton, took a run on 
the Chain Pier, and slept at the " Pavilion Hotel." On 
the 1 2th, at eleven a.m., I took the coach to Portsmouth, 
reaching the " Fountain," my old inn, at six p.m., where 
I slept. On the following day I crossed over to Ryde 
by the steamer, passing close to my old ship the Hecla, 


1 '!! 





at anchor off Spithead, and now bound for the coast of 
Africa, after her buffetings with the ice in the Arctic 
seas. From Ryde I went on to Newport and Cowes. 

Tuesday ^ \^th, — I took the sailing-boat to Southamp- 
ton, where I arrived at 5.30 p.m. and slept at the "Sun 
Tavern." On Thursday, 17th, I left Southampton by 
the Union coach at 8.30 a.m. for London, where I arrived 
at five p.m. 

Tuesday^ 29///. — I called on Captain Parry at the 
Admiralty, where he was now the hydrographer, and 
had my journals and sketches of the late Polar voyage 
returned to me, from the Record Office, and I after- 
wards entered my name at Coutts' bank, as a subscriber 
to the Clarence medal. 

Monday, May ^th. — I took the coach to Dorking, 
through Kennington, Clapham, Tooting, Merton, Ewell, 
Epsom, Leatherhead, &c., returning to town at seven p.m. 
On Wednesday, 7th, I took the coach to Clapham and 
back, having walked through Merton. 

Friday evening, <)th. — I engaged a place in the coach 
for Yarmouth, slept at the Spread Eagle," Grace- 
church Street, and at five a.m. on the following morn- 
ing I started for Southtown, where I arrived at 
ten p.m. 

Tuesday y 2yth. — I removed my mother and sisters 
into a newly-built, semi-detached villa, Southtown 
Terrace, on the London Road ; the river running 
alongside of the road, with a fine open prospect of the 
South Denes, the sea in the distance in front, and a 
wide expanse of meadow-land and marsh in the rear. 
Having been unsuccessful in my search around the 
suburbs of London for a suitable home for them. 

Thursday, June \2ih. — I returned to town by the 
five a.m. coach, which reached the " Spread Eagle " in 
Gracechurch Street at nine p.m., and I proceeded to my 
old lodgings in Duke Street, Adelphi. 


Allend Dr. Lindley's Lectures on Botany. 203 

Monday i \ ith. — I applied for a renewal of leave, my 
state of health having been in a far from satisfactory 
state, and on the 20th I obtained an extension of three 
months. Next day I visited the Exhibition of Paint- 
ings at the Royal Academy at Somerset House, and at 
seven p.m. left town by the Telegraph coach from the 
" White Horse," Fetter Lane, arriving at Southtown 
on the following morning at eleven o'clock. 

Tuesday, July 22nd. —The twenty-eighth anniversary 
of my birthday, even to the day of the week, as I was born 
on a Tuesday. I set some of the Spitzbergen seeds in 
the garden after a shower of rain, but only three or four 
plants of one kind sprang up, and these merely to wither 
away and die. To-day I read Captain Parry's narrative 
through for the first time. 

Monday, September i^th. — I wrote a letter to the 
Medical Board, reporting the state of my health, and on 
the following Thursday received an answer, granting me 
a year's further extension for the recovery of my health, 
and I remained with my mother and sisters in South- 
town Terrace for the winter. 

Tuesday, May ^th, 1829. — I took my departure from 
Southtown by the coach for London, arriving at nine 
p.m., and slept at the " Salopian Hotel," Charing Cross. 
On the following day I entered my name at the London 
University to Dr. Lindley's new course of lectures on 
Botany, on the Natural System, and at eleven a.m. at- 
tended the first lecture. 

Tuesday, igtA. — Purchased Professor Lindley's Intro- 
ductory Lecture, and in the afternoon went to Woolwich 
and paid a visit to my old shipmate, James Ross, on 
board his little steamer the Victory^ bound for the 
Arctic regions, and he introduced me to his uncle, old 
Sir John, on the quarter-deck. 

Wednesday, June 2>rd. — I met Sir Edward Parry in 
Regent Street, who told me that he was going out to 



Australia us Commissioner to the Australian Agricultural 

Wednesday, 24///. — I visited the Exhibition of the 
Royal Academy at Somerset House, and on Monday, the 
29th, gave in my name to Professor Lindley, at the 
Botanical Theatre, for a note of introduction to the 
Chelsea Botanic Garden. 

Thursday, July 2nd. — I obtained a ticket of admission 
from Apothecary's Hall to the garden. On Saturday, 
the nth, I breakfasted with Professor Lindley at his 
residence on Green, and accompanied him on 
a visit to the Horticultural Society's Gardens. On 
Friday, the 1 7th, I paid a visit to the Botanic Garden at 

Wednesday, August ^th. — The course of lectures on 
botany having concluded today at the London Univer- 
sity, on the following day I made application to Dr. 
Weir for an appointment on the Coast Blockade, and on 
Saturday, the 8th, entered my name at Maude's the 
Navy Agents, as a subscriber to the bust of the late Lord 
Melville, who had done much for our department. 

Friday, September \th. — I received an appointment t.i 
the Mediterranean station, a station above all others I 
was most desirous of serving upon ; but this appointment 
being only as a supernumerary, and a temporary one, I 
got it cancelled. 

Wednesday, ^th. — I went to Yonge's, the watch-makers, 
in the Strand, and found that the silver hunting-watch I 
had previously ordered to be expressly made for me was 

Thursday, October %th. — I went to the Adelphi Theatre 
and saw Cooper's " Red Rover," " The May Queen," 
and " York and Lancaster." 

Saturday, loth. — Learnt at the Admiralty that the 
Hyacinth, a new corvette, of twenty guns, lately launched 
at Plymouth, was commissioned, and I applied for her. 

■i '1: 

Appointed to H.MS. " Hyacinth r 



I was appointed to her on the isth, and took up 
commission on the following day. 

Tuesday, 20th. — At 7.30 a.m. I left Charing Cross by 
the " Hero" coach for Portsmouth, and at 6.30 arrived, 
and slept at the •' Blue Posts Inn " for the night. 

Wednesday, 2\st. — I went on board the Ganges \\\x\V., 
and on the following day on board the Rapid, and at 
seven p.m. left Portsmouth by the Sophia Jane steamer 
for Plymouth, arriving on the following day at eleven a.m. 
Landed at Mutton Cove, and took up my quarters at the 
" London Inn." Found my old cutter the Antelope lying 
in Hamoaze. In the afternoon I walked out to the 
Citadel to see an old acquaintance of mine. Dr. P'orrest, 
of the 23rd Fusilecrs. 

Saturday, 2.\th. — Reported myself -at the Clerk of the 
Cheque's Office in the dockyard, and went on board 
the Hyacinth, lying off the dockyard. 

Sunday, 2^th. — I dined at the mess of the 96th 
Regiment at the citadel. 

Monday, 26th. — Reported myself at the Ailmiralty 
Office, and on the following day the Hyacinth's pennant 
being hoisted, I joined her, and the next day went on 
board her hulk the Diadem. 

Monday, November 2nd. — Captain Robert Milborne 
Jackson having joined, I learnt from him, to my great 
disappointment and mortification, that we were destined 
for the West India station instead of the Mediterranean, 
as all had expected. 

Friday 6th. — I took up my quarters on board the hulk 
Diadem, having been living on shore ever since my 
arrival in Plymouth. 

Monday, \6th. — All the members of our mess dined 
on board together for the first time. 

Monday, 2^rd. — I called at the Admiral's office, and 
received an answer to my application for leave of absence, 
granting me three weeks. On the following day at 

I A 



; 1 


! i 






t ^'\ 



A utobiography. 

ten a.m. I left "Weakley's Hotel," Devonport, by the 
"Defiance" coach, for town, arriving there between 
three and four p.m. on the next clay. Went to my old 
lodgings in Duke Street. 

Thursday, 26M, and Saturday, 28///. — Dined at my 
old place the *' Woodstock," and at seven p.m. of the 
latter day I left by the " Telegraph " coach for Yar- 
mouth, reaching Southtown at eleven a.m. on the 
following day. 

Tuesday, December %th, at i.%o p.m. — I took leave of 
my friends at Southtown, starting by the London mail. 
I arrived in London at 7.30 a.m. on the day following, 
proceeding to Duke Street, Adelphi. 

Tuesday, 1 5//*. — Had a seal with my initials engraved 
on it made out of the Spitzbergen " Rose-Quartz." 

At 3.30 p.m. of the 17th I left the Western Office in 
Regent Street by the Plymouth coach, and reached the 
" London Inn" on the following day at nine p.m. 

Saturday, i^ih. — Rejoined the Hyacinth. 

Thursday, 24///. — Went to the Naval Hospital for the 
supply of medicines, and passed the 25th, Christmas 
Day, on board. 

Wednesday, January ist, 1830, at eight a.m. — The 
officers and ship's company were turned over from the 
hulk to the Hyacinth. 

Monday, nth. — The crew were paid their wages. 
The captain's wife, with her two pretty young daughters, 
came on board to take a final farewell of the ship, and 
on their return in the yacht I accompanied them on 


^P' ■ -^--«««?«gSfl^ "J' 

Nassau Li^hl-hoiise, and HyiuintKs Boats in chase of a Slaver. 
{See page 209.; 


To the West Indies again — Chase of a Slaver off Nassau— Again 
invalided — Return in the Arachnr home. 

Tuesday, \2th of January, 1830. — We got under 
weigh from Plymouth Sound, going out by the west 
channel with a strong breeze from the N.E. The night 
was fine and moonlight ; saw the " Eddystonc Light " and, 
during the first watch, the " Lizard." We had a very 
rough and boisterous passage out, a succession of heavy 
westerly gales, and in passing between the Great Canary 
Island and that of Teneriffe, on the 27th, we encountered 
a tremendous squall — one fearful gust of wind nearly 
threw the ship on her beam ends — and a heavy green sea 
she shipped at the time swept her decks like a deluge 
fore and aft. Lee guns and gunwale were all under 
water, and her yard-arms to leeward for a few moments, 
which seemed like an age before she righted, rested on 
the vortex of the turbulent waters which raged around 
and threatened every instant to engulf her. The three 
top-sails were on the caps at the time the squall struck 
her. About midnight the night was dark, and heavy 
showers of rain, accompanied by incessant lightning, 
every flash of which exhibited the high bold land on 


I 'I 






either side in strong relief, under a canopy of dense black 
clouds, so that we were thus prevented from calling at 
Teneriffe as was intended. 

Monday, February is/. — We crossed the tropic, when 
the usual ceremony was gone through, by old Father 
Neptune and his crew shaving and ducking all the 
greenhorns who had not crossed before ; but has been 
too often described to be repeated here. 
^ i/^r ({>ruf/~ February xoth. — We anchored in Carlisle Bay, Bar- 


I il; :!'i 


^^ji^ badoes. Since crossing the tropic we have been accom- 
— y '/r~^' panied by shoals of flying fish. During the week of our 
^ ■Vff~k -i^ y-~ stjjy j^gre I went on shore several times, dined at Betsey 
//mtUi'^ Austin's hotel, and had "sangree," that agreeable, cool- 
^A k^-< fi*-*^'' ing draught of the tropics, at Betsey Lemon's, both 
ffU— t^-x-J c-'^ celebrated characters in Bridgetown, their taverns 
A I y / / having been for years the resort of both the navy and 

'. army. 

/ ^(j> t^p'* Qpj ^i^p j^j}^ ^g sailed for Trinidad, passing through 

J^lxJilAM. #7 ^^ Bocas's by the Umbrella passage, and on the 19th 

. ' yf ''^ ^^^ afternoon came to an anchor off Port d'Espagne. 

P^, Here we found Admiral the Hon. Elphinstone P'leeming, 

itJL \/i-"^0^ '^^^ '" ''^^ Barham frigate of fifty guns, and as soon as we had 

y <' t^ secured ♦he ship, I accompanied Captain Jackson in his 

f gig on shore, and we had a pull for four or five miles 

through such torrents of rain as are only to be met with 

in the tropics. On landing, went to the hotel in the 

English part of the town. 

Sunday, 2 is/, a/fivep.m. — We weighed anchor in com- 
pany with the Barham, under a salute of seventeen guns 
from the shore, which was retu-ned by the Barham. We 
repassed the Bocas's with a fresh breeze, and outside we 
parted company with the admiral to proceed to Jamaica, 
calling at Grenada and St. Kitt's on our way. I went on 
shore at both places with the captain, and accompanied 
him in his visit to the governor of St. Kitt's. 

March ^/h. — Beating up along the lower Whitehorses 

v II 

New Providence, Bahama Islands. 


for Port Royal Harbour, anchoring for the night off the 
Palisades, and on the following morning came to an 
anchor in the harbour, when I accompanied Captain 
Jackson in his gig on shore. Went to the well-known 
" John-a-Ferong's" tavern and stores, which has long 
been the favourite resort of naval officers ; and I went 
afterwards to the Naval Hospital. 

Sunday, "jth. — Went in the gig to Kingston at five a.m., 
and managed to get on shore in rounding Palisade Point, 
but got afloat again immediately ; reached Kingston in 
about an hour, landing at the market-place, which I 
found abundantly supplied with provisions and fruits of 
all kinds, and I returned on board to breakfast. 

Tuesday, gth, at two p.m. — Sailed for New Providence 
to refit ; and on Thursday, the i8th, we crossed the Tropic 
of Cancer, passing within about thirty miles of the island 
of St. Salvador, the land first sighted in Columbus's first 

Saturday, 20th. — Anchored off the town of Nassau, 
New Providence, and at seven a.m. on the following day 
I landed for the first time at the Bahama Islands, and 
strolled from the market-place in the west to the Eastern 
Church in the east end. Went to Mrs. Baldwin's es- 
tablishment to see the beautiful shell-work for which 
Nassau is so celebrated, all made by her nieces and 
their pupil, a pretty sylph-like young Creole girl, Sarah 
Elizabeth Robinson, a native of the island, here called a 
"Conch," after, I suppose, the shell of that name so 
abundant in the Bahamas. This young girl's work in 
flower wreaths, baskets, and bracelets was all done in 
the most tasteful style, several specimens of which I 
brought home with me. 

Tuesday, i^rd. — This morning, after going on shore 
to order some shell-work at the Baldwins, returned on 
board at six p.m. to dine with Captain Jackson, In 
the midst of dinner a slaver was reported within sight 

VOL. II. p 



h w 



»» .. ^i' 



of the island, and chased by the Kangaroo schooner. 
Our cutter and pinnace were instantly manned to go in 
pursuit of her, and to endeavour to cut her off in the 
direction she was steering. Having volunteered my ser- 
vices on the occasion, and being accepted by the captain, I 
accompanied Sturt, our first lieutenant, in the cutter, and 
in the hurry-skurry of the moment, after shoving off, as 
we made sail, I discovered that the ammunition, with 
the ship's pistols and cutlasses, had been thrown into the 
bottom of the boat in hapless confusion, which, whilst 
my companions in this exciting chase were attending to 
the sails, I arranged and distributed the arms and am- 
munition ; and after standing out to sea for some twelve 
or fourteen miles, and the darkness of night shrouding 
all around, left us no other alternative than to bear up, 
and shape our course for the island by the lighthouse on 
the point, getting on board again after midnight, without 
falling in with the prize we had hoped to have captured 
and brought back with us. We subsequently learnt that 
she was full of slaves, mounting fourteen guns, and well 
manned ; so that had we succeeded in boarding her, it 
would doubtless have been smart work for our two boats 
with such few hands to have carried her. 

Thursday, April \st. — I dined at Dunmore House 
with the officers of the 2nd West India Regiment at 
their mess. 

On Monday, the 12th, the ship's company were quar- 
tered on shore at Hog Island, whilst the ship was being 
painted ; and with the rest of the officers I took up my 
quarters at Mrs. Baldwin's boarding-house. And ne.xt 
day again dined at Dunmore House with the officers' 

Friday, 30/^. — I attended an invaliding survey on 
board the Mersey ; and my own state of health having 
been anything but satisfactory since my return to a 
station where I had formerly suffered so much from 

Return Home in the " Arac/ine." 


yellow fever and the climate as to leave me no other 
alternative than to invalid home, I at once requested 
the officers who with myself were holding the present 
survey, to include me in it, and I was consequently in- 
valided the same day, and was ordered a passage home 
in the Bar ham. 

On Saturday, May ist, I left i\\e Hyacinth, and on the 
1 2th she sailed for Bermuda, and theArachtie of eighteen 
guns having arrived in the interim, I was on the 17th 
ordered a passage home in her instead of in the Barham. 
I went to the public ball in the evening, to which I had 
been several times during my sojourn in Nassau, a very 
pleasant place and abounding in hospitality. 

Thursday, 20th. — This forenoon I took my baggage 
on board the Arachne, and passed my last evening at 
Nassau at a friend's house at the east end of the town, 
a picturesque spot, over which the graceful cocoa-nut 
palms waved laden with fruit in clusters, suspended 
beneath their feather-like tufts of large leaves which 
crowned the tall erect stems. 

On the following day, the 21st, about eleven a.m., I 
took my final leave, and with some lingering regret of a 
pleasant place, in which I had passed many happy hours, 
and may never again visit, I started for " Cochrane's 
Anchorage " in Mrs. Baldwin's boat, and was accom- 
panied by a brother officer, who had also invalided, and 
was to go home in the same ship as myself. At four p.m. 
we reached the Barham, and the Arachne not having as 
yet reached the anchorage, I remained the night on 
board the Barham. The next morning at eight a.m., on 
the arrival of the Arachne, I at once joined her. The 
Blossom was the only ship of war left at Nassau. 

Saturday, 22nd. — Weighed in company with the Bar- 
ham, anchoring again at night ; weighing again next 
day, and coming to an anchor at night. 

Monday, 24///. — A fine fresh breeze springing up, 

p 2 





W H\ 

1 I \ 



carried us through the " Six Shilling " channel, and well 
to windward of the " Hole-in-the-Wall," and saw the 
beacon on the island of Eleuthera. 

Thursday, June ^rd. — In latitude 37° N. In the 
evening, whilst going ten knots with a strong breeze, a 
flying-fish of unusual oize, eighteen inches in length, 
wings ten inches in length and six inches in breadth, and 
body six inches in circumference, came on board over the 
weatlier quarter, which I preserved in spirits. 

Tuesday, 2>th. — Another flying-fish, but much smaller 
than the last, fell at my feet, whilst walking the quarter- 
deck this evening. Stormy petrels have been following 
in the wake of the ship ever since we left Nassau. 

yune gth and \oth. — Blowing a heavy gale of wind, 
under close-reefed top-sails and fore-sail, with the hatches 
battened down. 

Saturday, 12th. — Passed close to the island of Flores, 
its high and barren-looking summits capped with clouds, 
with numerous waterfalls from the ravines and down the 
mountain sides. With Flores still in sight we passed 
Corvo, a small, barren-looking island, having a dark, 
steep, rugged shore, deeply excavated with caves. 

Wednesday, 2'^rd, about four p.m. — The Scilly Islands 
appeared to leeward on the port-bow, very low, with the 
lighthouse on one of them. At seven p.m. we made the 
Land's End, through thick and hazy weather. Saw both 
the West and South Land's End, and the Longships' 
rock. Fired a gun ^rn the Barham of breakers 

ahead, on the Wolf ... The wind having suddenly 
changed against us, we had a beat up channel, blowing 
fresh, with thick, hazy weather, rain, and lightning, the 
land appearing en '/eloped in dark clouds and mist. 

Saturday, 2btu. — We passed the Needles about noon, 
afterwards Yarmouth and Cowes, anchoring off Spithead 
at two p.m., after a passage of five weeks, during which 
time we never once lost sight of the Barham. Admiral 

Parting Dinner at "Ship Hotel I' Charing Cross. 213 

Fleeming fired a salute going into the anchorage. At 
four p.m. I landed at the Custom-house, Portsmouth, and 
took up my old quarters at the " Star Inn " Point. 

Sunday, lyth. — Went on board the Arachne, and on my 
return to the shore rej^orted myself at the admiral's office. 
Last evening the news of the king's death arrived. 

Monday^ 28///. — At 10.30 a.m. I left the "Star" by the 
" Rocket " coach for London, arriving at Charing Cross at 
seven p.m., where I slept at the " Ship Tavern." 

Friday^ July 2nd. — Made my appearance with several 
other officers as invalids at the Admiralty. After which 
we had a parting dinner at the " Ship Tavern," Charing 

The Church, East end of Nassau. 


I I 


A utobiography. 


A year on half-pay — Attend Professor Jameson's Course of Lectures 
on Natural History at the Edinburgh University. 

Saturday, July T^rd, 1830. — I went to the Exhibition of 
the Royal Academy at Somerset House, and again on 
the 19th ; and on the following day, at seven p.m., I left 
the " White Horse," Fetter Lane, by the " Telegraph " 
coach for home, after getting my name noted at the 
Board for a coastguard appointment. At eleven a.m. next 
day I arrived at Southtown Terrace. 

Monday, November \st. — At five a.m. I left Southtown 
Terrace by the '* Star " coach for London, and slept at 
the " Ship Tavern," Charing Cross ; and on the following 
day I took up my quarters at 15, Duke Street, Adelphi. 

Thursday, i \th. — Had my name noted for the Mediter- 
ranean or South American stations, and having on the 
following evening received a note acquainting me with 
two vacancies on the coast blockade, on asking for one 
of them I found they had both been filled up. Only 
Scotchmen have any chance with the head of our depart- 

Sunday^ i^th. — Finding I had no prospect for the 
present of any suitable appointment, and that Professor 
Robert Jameson's course of lectures on Natural History at 
the Edinburgh University was about commencing, I made 
up my mind to pass the winter in the modern Athens, 
and to attend them. I consequently, at two p.m., em- 
barked from Miller's Wharf, on board the Earl of 

hti I 


!!■ ! 

of Lectures 

Enter my Name to various Courses of Lectures. 2 1 5 

Hopetoun packet, for Leith ; on the i ytli anchored in 
Leith roads ; and on the following morning I landed, 
and walked to Edinburgh by the Leith Walk. This 
being my first visit to Scotland. I breakfasted at the 
"Crown Inn," Princes Street, and afterwards commenced 
a search for lodgings, which I found at No. 3, Montagu 
Street, on the soutiiern outskirts of the new town, and 
they turned out very comfortable. 

Friday, igth. — I went to the University and entered 
my name to Jameson's winter course of lectures, attend- 
ing the first one at two p.m. On the following day I 
paid a visit to the Museum of Natural History. 

Monday, 22nd. — I was introduced to the George Street 
Subscription Reading Rooms, for a fortnight, and at 
the expiration of that time I became a subscriber for the 
next six months. 

Tuesday y 30//J. — I entered my name at the library of 
the University for a matriculation ticket. 

Thursday, December 2nd. — I commenced attending 
Dr. Mackintosh's courses of lectures on the Practice of 
Medicine and of Midwifery, and also Dr. Lizar's course 
of lectures on Anatomy, for both of which, as a medical 
officer in the navy, I had tickets presented to me 

Friday, yd. — I attended Dr. Campbell's lecture on 
the Practice of Physic. And on Monday, the 6th, I at- 
tended Dr. Fletcher's lecture at the Institute of Medi- 
cine. On Saturday, 25th, Christmas Day, between seven 
and eight o'clock in the evening, I witnessed a display 
of the aurora, or the Northern Lights. On Monday, the 
27th, I made an excursion to Duddington Lock, which 
was frozen over, and a vast number of people skating 
on it. 

Tuesday, February ist, 1831. — The frost set in exces- 
sively severe, accompanied by a heavy snow-drift, and 
keen easterly wind. 



•< t 

iH ii 

li ui 


Autobiog raphy. 

Monday, 2isi. — I attended Dr. Mackintosh's lecture 
on Medical Jurisprudence, and on March 4th, Friday, I 
attended his last lecture on Medicine and Midwifery, 
and also Dr. Lizar's lecture on Anatomy. 

Monday, yth. — After visiting the Museum of Natural 
History, in the evening I saw a most brilliant display 
of the aurora borealis, shooting from east to west. On 
Thursday, the 24th, I made an excursion on foot to 
Bonnington and Newhaven. 

Saturday, April 2nd. — Visited Professor Jameson's 
own collection of Natural History, in the rooms opposite 
to the side on which the public museum stands ; and at 
two p.m. accompanied him and his class on an excursion 
to the Salisbury Crags — the geological structure and 
mode of formation of which, with the hills adjacent, he 
explained on the spot, and we returned at 3.30 p.m. 

Sunday, ^rd. — I attended forenoon service at Hope 
Park Chapel, and the afternoon service at St. John's 
Chapel. April 6th, on an invitation from Professor 
Jameson, I attended a musical soiree, at his house in the 
Royal Circus, in which his niece, a clever, interesting 
young girl, just entering her teens, played on the harp, 
and has a talent for composing. 

Saturday, ^tli. — I went with Professor Jameson and his 
class, on a geological excursion to the summit of Arthur's 
Seat ; started at two, and returned at four p.m. 

Wednesday, 20th. — Visited the museum and completed 
the list I had been making during the winter, of the 
specimens of natural history contained in it. 

Sunday^ 24M. — Attended the afternoon service at St. 
Mary's Church, and on Monday, the 25th, paid my last 
visit to the Natural History Museum. 

Tuesday, 26th. — Made a pedestrian excursion to Leith, 
through Warriston, Porto- Bello, Fisherrow, and Mussel- 
burgh, returning by Duddington. 

Wednesday, 2'jth, — Ascended the Pentland Hills, pass- 


Return to London. 


ing through the village of Morningside, and returning by 
the village of Collington and the " Hunter's Tryst." 

Sunday, May ist, — Attended morning service at St. 
George's Church. 

Monday, 2nd. — At eight a.m. I went to the Botanic 
Garden, and attended Professor Graham's introduc- 
tory lecture on Botany. The Professor is a brother 
of Captain John George Graham, R.N., with whom I 
returned in the Icarus, ten-gun brig, from the West 
India station in 1825. At one p.m. I attended Dr. 
Hope's introductory lecture on Chemistry ; and at two 
p.m. Professor Jameson's introductory lecture to the sum- 
mer course of Natural History 

Tuesday, %rd. — I paid a visit to the old Castle, and to 
Holyrood House ; saw the picture-gallery and the apart- 
ments of Mary Queen of Scots. On Wednesday, the 
4th, I went to Leith, and took my place in the Dttke of 
Buccleuch smack for London. 

Saturday, "jth. — About seven a.m., being a fine morn- 
ing, I walked to Leith by the Leith road, or " walk," as 
it is called. And at ten a.m. the packet started, passing 
in sight of most of the places along the coast ; and on 
Tuesday, the loth, about six p.m., passed through Yar- 
mouth Roads ; and I had a fine view of the old jetty, 
with Nelson's monument, and the houses on the South- 
town road. Arrived at London on the following day at 
one p.m. ; landed at the wharf at three p.m., and took 
up my quarters at my old lodgings, 15, Duke Street, 

Monday, i6th. — I wrote a letter to the Admiralty, to be 
employed. On the 30th I called on Mr. Barrow, the 
Secretary to the Admiralty, and on the Hydrographer, 
Captain Beaufort, at his office. 

Tuesday, Jtme 21st. — I was offered an appointment 
at Riga, which I declined. 

Having now fairly taken up the pursuit of natural 

f ■•> 




history, in addition to my ordinary professional duties, 
and prepared and qualified myself by a course of hard 
study and attendance on the lectures of the most dis- 
tinguished professors, my greatobject was to get employed 
in scientific voyages of discovery. Wearied and tired out 
with the buffeting about in small craft, ofttimes very un- 
comfortable vessels, employed upon unhealthy stations, 
wanting in interest and influence to obtain for me the 
appointment to a frigate or other desirable ship, through- 
out the whole course of my service in the navy, I was 
yet compelled to serve, and, indeed, it was my duty so 
to do, and not only simply as a duty, but for time, a great 
desideratum with our particular class, with whom " service 
time " alone counts for either increase of pay or pro- 

Therefore I shall not dwell in detail on this anything 
but interesting period of my services afloat, but shall 
very briefly indeed transcribe from my somewhat volu- 
minous daily journals, only a few passing events, as they 
occurred at the time, so as to enable me to keep up a 
somewhat unbroken chain of the chief events and remi- 
niscences of a long and eventful life, that I may have 
the more space left me to record and do justice to those 
Polar voyages, both to the Arctic and Antarctic Seas, in 
which I have had the good fortune to be engaged, and 
which have ever been the stirring ambition of my life. 
Indeed, but for this feeling, my pen would not have 
been taken up now as an octogenarian. 

The subsequent three years from which I have to 
record were spent in two small miserable craft, and for 
the most part on my old station, the West Indies, where 
I had already suffered so much from the climate and 
other depressing influences ; which I can only look 
back to with unavailing regret, as so much time, health, 
and energies utterly wasted. 

The first appointment was to a small surveying ten-gun 

Fitting out at Plymouth. 


brig fitting out at Plymouth, dated July 9th, 1831, which 
I joined on the 20th, and on November 22nd I attended a 
survey at Plymouth Hospital, and dined with Dr. Arm- 
strong, the surgeon of the hospital, meeting at dinner my 
old friend and brother officer, Dr. McArthur, the surgeon 
of the Fly, of eighteen guns, fitting out here. 


A utobiography. 


'■ ' If 


Voyage to South America — Cape de Verde Islands— St. Paul's Rocks— 
Bahia — Rio Janeiro — Return, 

Tuesday y 27M. — After six months had been dawdled 
away in fitting a small ten-gun brig for sea, and after 
several unsuccessful attempts to get down channel, and as 
often driven back by bad weather, we at last got under 
weigh from Barnpoole, and stood out to sea. 

Monday t itth of January, 1832. — We anchored off 
Porta Praya, in the island of St. Jago, Cape de Verde 
Islands, and I landed there. On the 18th I paid a 
visit to the remarkable old baobab tree, an African tree 
growing in an open space to the westward of the town. 
On a second visit to this tree, on the 20th, I shot off the 
only blossom from its summit with a ball from my old 
double-barrelled gun, and it fell to the ground uninjured, 
the flower as large as that of the Magnolia grandi^ora, 
with fine white fleshy-waxy petals. I had ascended the 
tree previously, but could not get within reach of it, and, 
as a memento, I cut my initials, with the date of the year, 
high up the main stem. 

On the 23rd I landed upon a shooting excursion, and 
descended the steep, perpendicular sides of a deep ravine 
to the eastward of the town and opening to the sea. 
Numerous tropic birds {Phceton atherius) were hover- 
ing over the surf-beaten rocks at the entrance, with a 
wild cat at the bottom, altogether presenting a wild and 
striking scene. 

Visit to I he Baohab-trec, Porta Pray a. 221 

Thursday, February 2nd. — I went on shore again, and 
on measuring the baubab-tree, I found it 36^ feet in 

Saturday, /\th. — Made an inland excursion to the 
Valley of St. Domingo ; shot a rock pigeon on my way 
to the village, nestled amid shrubs and trees. 

Monday, 6th. — I paid another visit to the baobab- 
tree, and took a sketch of it. On Wednesday, the 
8th, I took a sketch of the place, went on shore again, 
and at three p.m. sailed. During my stay here I shot 
several " land " kingfishers or " Jacamas," differing 
widely from the common kingfisher in its habits, being 
found in the bushy, dry valleys where there is no water, 
and living on locusts and other insects. Its bright blue 
and black plumage sparkling in the sun's rays as it flits 
from branch to branch. 

Thursday, i6th. — Hove-to off St. Paul's Rocks in the 
middle of the Atlantic, and took a sketch of them. On 
the 19th, at midnight, anchored off Fernando Noronha, 
and sailed again next day. 

Tuesday, 28///. Eleven a.m. — Anchored off Bahia, found 
H.M.S. Samarang, Captain Lord William Paget, lying 
there. Dined on board of her with the captain and 
ward-room officers, and again on March the 3rd and 8th. 
Dr. George Todd Moxey, who entered the service about 
the same time as myself, was surgeon of her. 

Saturday, loth. — I went on shore to the Convent of 
Solidada, and purchased of the nuns some of the feather 
flowers for which this place is so famous, and on Sunday, 
the 1 8th, we sailed; 29th, anchored ofif the Abrolho 
Shoals, and I landed on one of the islands, where 1 caught 
a young tropic bird in the long grass. Sailed on the 

Wednesday y April ^th. — Anchored in the harbour of 
Rio Janeiro, and landed on the following day. 

Thursday, 12th. — Walked to Boto Fogo, where there 



, .4i<|l !l 


A utobiog raphy. 

% i, 

I Ji 

is a fine white sandy beach, and paid a visit to the 
Botanic Garden. On the 26th I crossed over to Praya 
Granda in one of the passage-boats. 

Saturday, 2%i/i. — I went to the market-place and 
purchased a grey parrot ; and joined H.M.S. Tyne, of 
twenty-eight guns, Captain Charles Hope, for a passage 
to England. Went on board about midnight. Having 
found myself in a false position on board a small c'.nd very 
uncomfortable vessel, and verj' much disappointed in my 
expectations of carrying out my natural history pursuits, 
every obstacle having been placed in the way of my 
getting on shore and making collections, I got permis- 
sion from the admiral in command of the station here to 
be superseded and allowed a passage home in H.M.S. 

On Sunday, 29th, at day-break, we sailed for England, 
and the Tyne proved to be just as comfortable a ship as 
the one I had just left was the very reverse. We had a 
fine passage home ; and had on board as a passenger a 
lieutenant in the French navy, of the name of Le Jeune, 
a young man of most prepossessing appearance and 
manners, amiable and intelligent, who had been engaged 
in one of the French scientific voyages of discovery round 
the world, under Admiral Duperrey, in the Coquille. He 
had just left one of the ships of the French squadron on 
the station to proceed to France, to take up an appoint- 
ment on the home station. He and I very soon became 
friends, attracted to each other by the mutual interest we 
felt in natural history, geography, and other branches of 
science. My brother officer, the surgeon, Peter Cunning- 
ham, was a brother of the well-known Allan Cunning- 
ham, writer and poet, and was himself an author ; so that 
altogether we formed a very happy mess, the most so by 
far of any ship I have ever belonged to. Captain Hope 
himself was an excellent officer and a kind-hearted, 
sociable man, and had been a midshipman with the late 

V \ 

'= irflf! 

Return Home in //M.S. " Tyne." 


Sir Murray Maxwell in the loss of the Alceste frigate in 
the China seas. We had scarcely been three days at sea 
before I received an invitation to dine with him, on the 
ist of May. Early on the morning of the loth we 
passed the lone island of Trinidad, and I took a sketch 
of it. 

On the 1 2th I again dined with Captain Hope. On 
the 21st we crossed the line, on the 26th I dined with 
the captain, and on the 3 1 st crossed the tropic. 

Friday, June i^/.— The north-east trade-wind still 
blowing fresh and squally, and we passed a great deal of 
the gulf-weed. 

Monday y A,th. — The ship's company were exercised at 
the great guns, firing at a mark. On the 8th we fell in 
with a wreck, the schooner Constance, of Cherbourg, 
Vv-ater-logged, with only her fore-mast and bowsprit 
standing, her decks awash with the sea, and covered 
with barnacles. Consequently she must have been 
drifting aboui for a long time. 

Wednesday, iT^th. — Strong breezes and fair. Passed 
a large ship outward bound, and I dined with the 

Saturday, 16M. — Made the land. We were sur- 
rounded by vessels of all sorts, and saw the Lizard 
Lighthouse. At two p.m. we were in sight of the 
Eddystone, and passed Plymouth. 

Monday, i%th. — At six a.m. anchored at Spithead, 
saluting whilst under weigh. At eleven a.m. I landed at 
Point, reported myself at the admiral's office, and took 
up my quarters at the old " Star and Garter." 

On the 19th the Tync sailed for Sheerness, and I went 
to the custom-house for my baggage. On the following 
day I called on my old friend Lieutenant Rogier, R.N., 
at his lodgings in Green Row, Southsea, and stayed to 
tea with him. 

Thursday^ 21st. — At ten a.m. I left by the "Rocket" 

> IK 




A utobiography. 

coach for town, reaching my old lodgings, 15, Duke Street, 
Adelphi, at seven p.m., where the celebrated African 
traveller, Captain Clapperton, R.N., once lodged. 

Friday, 29/^, one p.m. — I attended the invaliding 
survey at the Admiralty, and found myself again on half- 

% f "1 






On lialf-pay — With the cotibined squadrons in thr; blockade of Holland 
—Narrow escape in .le Downs — Aground on the Goodwin Sands 
— Court-martial. 

Monday, ynly }6i/i. — This evening I went to a party at 
Greville Place, Kilburn, to which I had received an 
invitation from the mother and sister of my late mess- 
mate, Augustus Earl, the artist and celebrated draughts- 
man of tropical scenery and savage life. 

On the 23rd I saw the new library of the British 
Museum for the first time. 

On Friday, the 27th, when walking through the depart- 
ment containing Captain Cook's collection from the South 
Sea Islands, the keeper of the room called my attention 
to a remarkable-looking old gentleman dressed in the 
costume of the last century, wearing a very broad-brimmed 
white hat with a black band round it, and a square-cut 
broad-skirted coat, and waistcoat of similar dimensions, 
who, he said, was an habitual, almost daily, visitor there, 
and no less a personage than Colonel Molesworth Phillips, 
the marine officer who so gallantly defended Captain 
Cook when he fell beneath the dagger of a Sandwich 
Islander, in the ever to be lamented affray with the 
natives of those charming islands. Poor old Phillips 
after all fell a victim to the cholera epidemic at the time 
so general in the metropolis. 

Being desirous of seeing some of the worst cases, I on 


A utobiography . 

the 3rd of September called on an old brother officer, 
Peter Cosgrave, Surgeon, R.N., practising in Sunv Street, 
Strand, and accompanied him in his morning rounds 
through the wretched neighbourhood of the poor courts 
and alleys of Drury Lane, where some of the very worst 
forms of this dire and too frequently fatal attack met my 

On the Sth, finding agents' services did not justify the 
expenses incurred by employing them, I had "he power 
of attorney cancelled, and dismissed altogether my agents, 
Messrs. Cook and Halford, of 41, Norfolk Street, Strand, 
whom I had originally employed, chiefly from their having 
been not only the agents, but also the executors of my 
poor father. 

On the loth I crossed over the new London Bridge 
for the first time ; and on the 13th went to Yarmouth by 
the Courier steamer, and anchored of! the bar on the 
following morning at five a.m„ and walked to South- 

October ^rd. — I received an appointment to a sloop- 
of-war of eighteen guns, fitting out at Portsmouth, to 
join the combined squadron of English and French in 
the blockade of the coast of Holland. I left Southtown 
on the I ith, passing a day or two in town on my way to 
join her. 

On the 1 6th of October I joined her at Portsmouth, 
and on the Sth of November, at two p.m., sailed for the 

On the 20th, at one p.m., weighed and stood over to 
the Dutch coast, a low, sandy, hummocky shore, studded 
over with windmills, and numerous large flights of wild- 
fowl and gulls tended somewhat to enliven the other- 
wise dreary scene, amid the squally, thick, often foggy 
weather, and not unfrequent heavy gales of wind which 
the squadron cruising off the Texel and Gorde had to 
encounter. We passed in sight of the famed Camper- 

Narrow Escape in the Downs. 


(fother officer, 
Surr^ Street, 
)rning rounds 
le poor courts 
the very worst 
ittack met my 

not justify the 
lad "he power 
her my agents, 
street, Strand, 
m their having 
jcutors of my 

,ondon Bridge 
> Yarmouth by 
le bar on the 
ced to South- 
It to a sloop- 
'ortsmouth, to 
ind French in 
eft Southtown 
on my way to 

Lt Portsmouth, 
, sailed for the 

stood over to 
shore, studded 
ights of wild- 
en the other- 
c, often foggy 
f wind which 
Gor^e had to 
med Camper- 

down, off which Lord Duncan gained a victory over the 
Dutch fleet. 

We passed January ist, the New Year's Day of 1833, 
cruising between the Texel and the Scheldt. 

Sunday, \2,ih. — We early this morning returned to 
the Downs ; and when passing close under the stern of 
the French admiral's flagship the Syrette, a boat in 
charge of a midshipman from her was sent alongside 
of us with a message from the admiral's aide-de-camp, 
Lieutenant Le Jeune, wishing to know if his old friend 
and former messmate in the Tyne was on board, as it 
appeared he had recognized mc on the poop as we 
passed astern of the Syrene in coming to an anchor. On 
the following day he came on board to see me. 

Sunday, February lylh. — My friend Le Jeune dined 
on board with me in the gun-room. 

On Friday, the 22nd, having landed at Deal, at three 
p.m., in the small dingy, to get some things for the 
mess, with the gun-room steward, and only four boys to 
pull the boat, accompanied by Webb, one of our mid- 
shipmen. As we attempted to get off again, the wind 
and sea had in the meantime increased so much as 
to swamp our boat, turning her bottom-up in the surf, 
through which we had to scramble on shore with a 
thorough ducking ; and, having righted the boat, by 
emptying out the sand and water she had taken in, 
made another attempt at launching her through the 
heavy rollers and surf breaking on the beach. Things 
looked so unpromising that the Deal boatmen, sturdy 
fellows themselves, tried to dissuade us from making 
another attempt, urging with good reason too, that witii 
a strong tide and wind against us, in such a nut- 
shell of a boat, with a dark night before us, to reach the 
ship seemed hopeless. However, as I told them I had 
made up my mind to get on board, all I asked of them 
was to lend a helping hand by giving us a shove through 

Q 2 








A iitobiography 

f ii if 

the surf, which they at once willingly did, and I dis- 
tributed a gallon of beer amongst these fine hardy fellows, 
and we succeeded this time in getting clear of the rollers 
setting on the beach. A fearful struggle with the elements 
we had at eight p.m., after three hours' incessant toil 
at the oar and helm, in which the midshipman and myself 
took turns alternately at the oar or steering. Our feeble 
boat's crew, early succumbing to the cold, wet, toil, and 
exposure, lay at the bottom of the boat as so much 
ballast. In the daikness of the night our only guide to 
steer by was the lights on board the ships of the 
squadron, densely black clouds and squalls passing over 
us, every moment threatening our destruction by swal- 
lowing up the frail skiff as she laboured against both 
wind and tide, tossed about on the fast rising sea like a 
nutshell. The first ship we made through the sur- 
rounding gloom was a Frenchman, and my companion 
was very naturally anxious to secure the first chance that 
offered, with the prospect of the Goodwin Sands before 
us, should we miss the ships of the combined squadron. 
I confess I very reluctantly allowed this chance to pass 
by ; but observing another light in our course, which 
might prove to be one of our own ships, on board which 
I felt it would be far more desirable to seek a shelter for 
our boat's crew than on board a foreign one, I shaped 
our course for the next light, which happily proved to 
be one of our own line-of-battle ships, the Malabar, of 
seventy-four guns. But as we pulled under her quarter, 
we risked being knocked to pieces against her huge 
sides, by the swell of the heavy sea which swept past 
them. We had already drifted past the gangway before 
we could secu«"e the rope thrown to us, almost buried in 
the waters surging alongside. When under the fore- 
chains, I most fortunately caught the rope, and, clinging 
to the thwarts of the boat with my feet and legs, I held 
on with a firm grasp for dear life, till we had all succeeded 

Get ashore on the Goodivin Sands. 


in clambering up the steep sides of the vast hull, pitching 
and rolling in the heavy sea that was running. The 
boat was then hoisted on deck, and the ward-room 
officers, after we had changed our wet clothes, took my 
companion, the midshipman, and myself down to the 
mess-room, where we sat down to a comfortable warm 
supper ; after which, as the commander was on shore 
sick at the hospital, I had his cabin allotted me to sleep 
in for the night ; and my boat's crew were well taken 
care of and made comfortable. A signal was made to 
my own ship that we were all safe, and the next morning, 
between seven and eight, a boat took us on board, having 
to pull against both wind and tide. A buoy-rope aided 
us on board at nine a.m. 

On one of our many cruises in the North Seas, whilst 
blockading the coast of Holland during this tempestuous 
winter, I landed on the 6th of March at Ostend, and took 
a survey of the town. On the 13th, at 1.30 p.m., the 
combined squadron, with the Donegal, bearing the flag of 
Sir Pultenay Malcolm, and the French flag-ship Syrene, 
sailed for the coast of Holland, returning again to their 
anchorage in the Downs on the 19th. 

On the 20th, at one p.m., I went on board the Syrene^ 
to return the visit of my friend Le Jeune, the admiral's 
aide-de-camp, who was busy getting the ship under 
weigh for Cherbourg. But he showed me round the 
admiral's cabin and main-deck, when I returned on 

Tuesday, April 2nd. — Having got under weigh from 
the Downs for a cruise, when off Calais, on the 4th, we 
captured a small Dutch galliot, laden with fruit, and took 
her in tow, when, thick and hazy weather coming on, we 
somehow or other got out of our reckoning, and, much 
to the astonishment of all, found ourselves all at once 
hard and fast on the Goodwin Sands. It occurred about 
the middle of the day. I was seated at the gun-room 




' l> 

A i 

i, f1 



2 30 

A iilobiography. 

'! Ill 

li n 


table at the time, and felt the shock, immediately followed 
by a second, and, upon going on deck, found all in 
confusion there, with an entire absence of that coolness, 
self-possession, and seamanship so much needed in the 
commander in such an emergency as the present. The 
paltry prize had been cast off, and most of the guns were 
thrown overboard without even buoying them, and those 
that remained were fired as signals of distress, and the 
ensign reversed. Between five and six p.m. I leaped out 
of one of the foremost ports on the starboard side, and 
walked round her, from the bows, round her stern, touch- 
ing her copper sheathing. Astern of us a long line of 
breakers extended as far as the eye could reach. The 
South Foreland Light on the starboard bow, the North 
Foreland and Gull Stream Lights on the starboard 
quarter, and astern of us the town of Deal, and the com- 
bined squadron at anchor in the Downs, and on her port 
and weather side the open sea. 

Just before dark the whole sky became overcast with 
a densely black cloud, threatening a stormy, tempestuous 
night for our destruction. But fortunately for us all 
passed off with a squall of wind and rain. At the time 
we struck, about an hour and a half after high water 
(spring tides), we had topgallant sails set. Her star- 
board side rested on the sands, and as the tide made she 
righted rapidly and in the most gentle manner. We had 
the moon nearly ahead of us as she cast round going off. 
Boats from the combined squadron, and from Deal 
beach, came to our assistance, and on the tide making, 
about ten p.m., we fortunately got afloat again, and 
anchored off the North Foreland Light. 

On the following morning we w^eighed, anchoring again 
at two p.m. in the Queen's Channel ; having only the two 
long guns forward, and three carronades remaining on 
deck. The ports had been stove and knocked out in 
getting the others overboard, with several casks of pro- 

Dcslinaticn the West Indies again. 


visions, and all the water started from the tanks, together 
with a top-mast, which, singularly enough, we had picked 
up. It had belonged to a ship wrecked on this very spot 
not long belore, the hull of which lay embedded in the 
! and a hundred or two yards inside of us, whilst our 
ill-starred ship lay high and dry on the hard sand. 
We were taken into dock at Sheerness. I went on duty 
to Chatham to attend a survey, and lunched with an 
old acquaintance, Adamson, the assistant-surgeon of the 
yard. We received orders to proceed to Portsmouth for 
a court-martial on the commander, who was sentenced 
to be reprimanded, and admonished to be more careful 
in future. The president was Sir Frederick Maitland, 
of H.M.S, Victory. This took place on Thursday, the 
J 8th of April. 

On the 27th, finding that our ultimate destination was 
the West Indies, a station on which I had already 
suffered so much in health and every discomfort, it may 
be concluded I was in no disposition to return if I could 
avoid it, more especially in a ship from which both 
lieutenants were superseded at their own request. She 
subsequently, in the latter part of her commission, became 
so unpopular on the West India station as to be put in 
" Coventry " by the military garrisons of the various 
islands, by whom she was considered and looked upon 
with as little prestige as a privateer craft might have 

Consequently, on the 29th I wrote a letter to the 
Admiralty, requesting to be appointed to some other ship, 
and had an interview with the admiral there on the sub- 
ject, which led to a second application from myself, on 
the 3rd of May, equally unsuccessful, and leaving me no 
other alternative than to sail for the third time to a 
station which destiny seemed to have marked out for me 
to be the very bane of my existence. 

May loth. — We got under weigh for Falmouth, 

' .i;| 

f :i 




! h 





fcl t 

:L. '! 




/^ utobiography . 

anchoring there on the 14th. I went on shore at 
five a.m. on the following day, and breakfasted at 
'* Pierce's Hotel," returning on board at eleven a.m. 
My old ship, the Hyacinth, was at anchor in the 

A water-spout seen between Bermuda and Jamaica on August 7th, 1833. 

(See page 2ii,.) 

,■*> ■''J 

The Moio Castle, Havan.i. {See page 243.) 


' 'I 

'if t' 

Third voyage to the West Indies — The yellow fever — At Havanha — 

Invalided home. 

May ii^th, 1833. — At noon sailed from Falmouth; and 
Thursflay, the 20th of June, made the island of Deseada, 
passing in sight of Antigua, and between the islands of 
Guadaloupe and Montserrat. All these islands were in 
sight at the same time. On the 25th sighted St. 
Domingo, and on the 27th at six p.m. anchored in Port 
Royal Harbour, Jamaica. On the next day I landed, 
and had the famed " porter-cup " at Johnny Ferong's, 
and went to Kingston. My old friend Dr. McArthur 
came on board to see me. 

Saturday, 2^th. — Six a.m., sailed for Bermuda. Cleared 
the windward passage with a fine breeze, sighting Cuba, 
Cape St. Nicholas Mole, Fortune, and the Crooked 

Friday, July \2th. — Hove-to off George Town, Ber- 
muda. Received despatches for the admiral at Halifax, 
and at six p.m. made all sail again. We are now fairly in 
the Gulf Stream, the colour of the sea having changed 
from the bright blue of ) esterday to the dark green of 

ij ■•'• 

I ": 

!:: ■ 

i 1 



A utobiogvaphy. 


to-day, and surrounded on all sides by the gulf- weed. 
Stormy petrel numerous ; a hundred or more seen at the 
same time. 

On the 15th strong breezes. Going nine knots. The 
water returning to its blue colour, and the gulf-weed 
disappearing. The evening very chilly, the tempera- 
ture next day falling to 60° Fahr. 

Wednesday, 1 7///. — Nine a.m., saw Sambro Light, York 
Redoubt, &c,, and the pilot came on board. Saluted the 
admiral's flag, and about noon anchored above the dock- 
yard, opposite to the admiral's house, having passed 
McNab's and the St. George's Islands on the starboard 
side. Found the Vernon, flag-ship, at anchor here. At 
four p.m. I landed in the jolly-boat at the Victualling 
Office. Had some of the wild strawberries and cream at 
Jones's, the confectioner's, and took a stroll round the town. 

Thursday, iSi/t. — I went on shore again this morning, 
and at five p.m. we sailed for Bermuda, where we arrived 
on the 27th, passing through the Narrows and Murray's 
Anchorage to the Ferry Anchorage, which we reached 
at ten a.m., and I landed at George Town at one. 

Tuesday, lotk. — At six a.m. I landed at the ferry near 
the bridge, in the pilot's boat, on a shooting excursion, 
extending our excursion to the westward some four miles 
or so. Had a glass of milk at a house on the road, 
where we saw a fine young eagle, said to have been 
hatched over General Washington's tomb. I gave him 
a bird I had shot, for his lunch. Saw some tropical birds 
in Shelly Bay, and after calling at old Tucker's, the pilot's, 
for some sea-rods, reached George Town at seven p.m., 
and returned on board. 

Wednesday, ^xst. — We received a company of the 8th 
Regiment on board for a passage to Port Royal, and 
sailed. The birds I shot at Bermuda were fifteen blue 
and two red birds, four ground-doves, five chick-de- 
willock, and four black or cat-birds. 

Wednesday, August yth. — About midday I saw a 

A Cloud of liutterJUes about the Ship. 


waterspout, appearing first like a dark, then changing to 
a hght, column. On the 14th we cleared the Mona 
Passage, passing in sight of Zacheo, Mona, Monica, and 
Porto Rico. On the 20th sighted Jamaica off the White 
Horses and Yallah's Hill, at three p.m. on the follow- 
ing day anchored in Port Royal Harbour, and the next 
morning disembarked the troops. 

Monday, 26th. — Went on shore at five a.m. in the 
cutter, to Green Bay, and shot several birds ; returning on 
board at nine a.m., when I attended a survey on board 
of the Magnificent. Ac six p.m. I dined at the artillery 
mess, Port Royal, and wore our new full-dress uniform 
for the first time; returned on board at nine p.m. from 
Johnny Ferong's wharf. 

Friday, 30///. — I landed at six a.m. on a shooting ex- Jr / • A 
cursion to the Palisades; shot several small birds and a • ^*/^**^^ 
John Crow, or carrion vulture, and returned on board^^j^/^<< 3im^^^ 
at ten am. Of^*^ 

Tuesday, September T^rd. — We sailed for Chagres and j^J^L {^ Sttu 
Nicaragua, on the Spanish Main, and during the remainder 7 jf ,^// 

of the time I remained on the station we were chiefly "'^y^if^ iy^ 
so employed — carrying the mails from Port Royal, &c. it)kiiyLW***A 
So that I shall not enter into a dry detail of the dates of 
arrivals and departures, and only note the day of the 
occurrence of anything worth recording in these short 

On the 9th the ship was literally in an atmosphere of 
butterflies. In the forenoon I caught a shark astern 
nearly six feet in length, with a small " sucker-fish " 
attached to him. A slice of him, cooked with port wine 
sauce, for dinner, proved by no means unpalatable. 

On the I ith, when off Chagres Castle, we encountered 
a violent storm of thunder and lightning, accompanied 
by torrents of rain, like a deluge. The thunder in loud 
crashing peals, and the lightning most vivid. One flash 
struck the ship, but without any damage. 

On Monday, i6th, having anchored off Nicaragua, at 

■ Tif 

'! ill 



K .11 




A utobiog raphy. 


I ft 


%A|.\ O 


four p.m., I landed and took the mail to the Governor's, 
extending my walk along the beach to the entrance of 
the river, over which I crossed to the island, through a 
whole squadron of sharks and alligators, rising close to 
the boat on all sides. I landed on Sandy Point, where our 
cutter's crew had made a blazing fire, and were employed 
hauling the seine for fish. I returned on board at eight 
p.m., and on the following day we sailed for Salt Creek. 
When hove-to with the mail off this place, on the 
19th, I shot at and wounded two sharks ; one of them, 
ten feet in length, having a ball through the neck, was 
subsequently caught. On returning to Chagres I waited 
on the Governor on the 23rd, and made another shooting 
excursion or two ; had a fine clear view of the Cordil- 
leras, one of the peaks appearing to emit smoke, as if 
from a volcano. After returning to Port Royal, we again 
sailed for the Main ; this time for Carthagena. Having 
sent the mail on shore on the loth, on the following 
morning we passed through the Boca-Chica, between 
two forts, and anchored in the harbour on the 12th. I 
landed on the island on a shooting excursion, and bagged 
twenty-two birds. 

On Monday, October 14th, six a.m., I landed at the 
market-place upon another excursion. Ascended the cele- 
brated mountain of La Popa, so well described by Smollett 
in his *' Roderick Random," skirting the hill, through the 
bushes, to the summit. At nine a.m. I entered the 
monastery of Nivestra Senhora de la Popa. Here we 
had a bottle of claret, and some orange cordial, and I 
shot a shrike and a ground-dove, within its walls, for my 
ornithological collection, and as a memento of my visit. 
Returning by the main road, we fell in with some wood- 
cutters felling trees in the forest, whom we much amused 
by firing at a mark with our guns. Got some cocoa-nuts 
at a hut, and after wading through a lagoon returned on 
board at six p.m., I having shot twenty-two birds. 

Returned from the Main to Port Royal Harbour on the 


Shoot a fine Osprey from the Deck. 


23rd. Onthe 26th attended an invalidingsurvey on board 
the Magnificenty and afterwards went to Fort Augusta, 
and dined at the mess of the 8th Regiment, in full-dress 
uniform. Slept at the fort, and next morning break- 
fasted with one of the officers at his quarters ; a second 
breakfast at the mess-room at one, and returned on 
board at three p.m. 

Saturday, November 2nd. — Paid another visit to the 
8th Regiment at Fort Augusta ; breakfasted at the mess, 
and afterwards joined a party of the officers in their boat, 
the Black Duck, on a shooting excursion up the river, 
through a morass overgrown with rushes, &c. ; and 
after wading through black mud and swamp, toiling in 
the heat, did not succeed in getting any wild-fowl. I 
only shot two black-plum aged birds ; one from a flock 
flying overhead. After pulling through a mangrove 
creek, we got back to the fort at six p.m., and I dined at 
the mess. On the following morning, Sunday, I break- 
fasted with the officers, and afterwards visited the Mili- 
tary Hospital, returning on board at two p.m. in their 
boat the Black Duck. Sailed again on the 1 1 th for 
Chagres and Nicaragua, and landed at each place. 

On Friday, November 22nd, when on the passage be- 
tween the above places, in the evening, a fine osprey was 
hovering over the mast-head, and ventured to alight on 
the weather-end of the main-topgallant yard, when I shot 
it from the poop and it fell on the quarter-deck. I at once 
skinned and preserved it. Its dimensions were : Extent 
of wings, five feet ; length, twenty-two and a half inches; 
circumference, fifteen inches ; eyes, bright yellow, with 
faint brown reflections ; tarsus, pale blue. On the follow- 
ing day we had the osprey cooked for dinner, and found 
it far from unpalatable. Several others seen. 

Saturday, yith. — Having anchored on the previous 
evening off Nicaragua, I went onshore before daylight 
this morning on a shooting excursion, landed at Point 
Arenas, and walked along the coast for about four miles, 






and was fortunate enough to add a pair of the beautiful 
tiger bittern to my ornithological collection ; one bird 
falling to each barrel, right and left, as they rose from a 
mangrove swamp (male and female). I also shot the 
pretty " Parra jacana," and a parrot. Most of the birds 
seen were white egrets, in flocks, vith kingfishers, sand- 
pipers, and a few ducks and parrots. Iguanas clinging 
at full length to the topmost branches of the trees, where- 
ever there was water underneath for them to fall into, 
beneath which they dived for security, whenever alarmed 
and disturbed from their look-out. Returned on board 
at eleven a.m. At two p.m. we got under weigh for 
Salt Creek, where I also landed. 

December xtth. — Returned to Port Royal, where the 
Vernon, bearing the admiral's flag, was lying, with orders 
for us to prepare for sea again ; and at daylight on 
the 19th sailed for Port Antonio, at the east end of 
Jamaica, anchoring there on the following day at four p.m. 

Saturday, 21st. — Dined at the mess of the 37th Regi- 
ment, and on the 28th I breakfasted with Gregory John- 
stone, at his estate. Anchovy, Richmond Hill. I learnt 
from him that he was one of the claimants to the Annan- 
dale peerage, and had been the owner of Fritton Decoy, 
in Suffolk, where he once resided, a spot so well- 
known to myself from having passed a year of my early 
youth at the village of Belton in its vicinity. And 
although he was of a retiring disposition, and lived almost 
the life of a recluse on his estate, this circumstance, 
reviving old associations of the past, soon brought us 
together on the most friendly terms. I rambled over 
Johnstone's grounds, and shot seven birds, returning on 
board at six p.m. 

On Tuesday, 31st, I again breakfasted with Johnstone 
at Richmond Hill, and dined with him at Anchovy; 
riding to both places. We spent the evening where we 
breakfasted, at Richmond Hill. I shot three mocking- 

: t '-^- 

eturning on 

Troops on board down with Yellow Fever. 239 

Birds {Turdus polyglottus) , and a John Crow {Vuliur 
aura) . 

Thursday, January 2nd, 1834. — I went on shore and 
called on Dr. Arnold and Gregory Johnstone, with both of 
whom I had dined several times, and they both dined 
on board with me to-day. 

Saturday, i^th. — I received an invitation from the com- 
manding officer of the 37th Regiment to dine at the mess 
to-morrow, and from Gregory Johnstone to breakfast 
with him at Richmond Hill, and to dine at Anchovy on 
Monday next. 

Monday 6th. — Went on shore, and to Richmond Hill ; 
accompanied Johnstone round his grounds with our guns. 
He shot the little bittern [Ardea minutd), and gave 
it to me for my collection, and I skinned it at once. It 
rose from a mangrove swamp. After dining at Anchovy 
we visited his sugar plantation in search of snipe, these 
birds frequenting the furrows filled with water. But being 
late in the day, and no wind, they were so shy that I only 
got a shot or two, and missed them. After dark we rode 
to the barracks, and I returned on board in the 37th's 
boat to dress in full uniform, for the ball given by the 
townspeople to the naval and military at nine p.m. I had 
a long and interesting conversation with Johnstone in the 
ball-room, whilst the dancing was going on, as we were 
neither of us dancers. Returned on board at two a.m., and 
sailed for Port Royal. 

Monday, \ith. — We got under weigh for Black River, 
anchoring there at two p.m. On the following day I 
went on shore, and brought off with me a detachment of 
the 8th Regiment, all down with yellow fever in its worst 
form, to convey them to the hospital at Fort Augusta. 
Weighing at daylight next morning, we took on board 
another detachment from Old Harbour on the 1 7th, and 
at daylight on the following morning sailed for Port 
Royal, where we landed the troops the same night. 




i t; 

I I i 

^u * 

V '% 



A utobiography . 

Some died on board, and many others subsequently in 
the hospital. 

On the 23rd I dined at the mess of the 8th Regiment 
at Fort Augusta; and on the 25th, at daylight, we sailed 
for St. Jago de Cuba, anchoring there on the 28th at 
four p.m. 

Thursday, 2)^tk. — I went on shore on a shooting 
excursion. The country in the vicinity was very beau- 
tiful. Some portions of the undulating hills, like a green 
lawn studded with clumps of forest trees, recalled to mind 
a country park in England. We returned on board at 
four p.m., over-heated and fatigued, after wading through 
swamps in search of birds. 

February \th. — Sailed for Port Royal, which we 
reached on the 6th, and proceeded to sea again on the 
2ist for Carthagena : on the 24th anchored there. On 
the 28th, about dusk, when at anchor off the Boca-Chica, 
vast numbers of a small species of bat passed over the 
ship in one continuous stream, so closely packed there 
must have been myriads of them. They proceeded from 
the direction of the fort, across the harbour. 

March ist. — Got under weigh for Port Royal. Whilst 
at anchor off the Boca-Chica, on the 28th, I caught one 
of these bats as it flew over my head whilst I was walk- 
ing the quarter-deck, which I preserved, and found that 
it was with young. 

Wednesday, May i^ih. — We sailed for the Havanha, 
a place I had long ago wished to see, but an opportunity 
for so doing had never hitherto offered ; the last two 
months having been occupied in the very monotonous 
service of carrying the mails backwards and forwards 
between Port Royal, Chagres, Nicaragua, Salt Creek, 
and Carthagena, together with surveys at Port Royal 
Hospital. On the 17th we sighted the Isle of Pines, 
a noted resort of pirates and slavers, and on the following 
day we rounded Cape Antonio. 

J«|J .V 

Visit the Cathedral and Passeo. 


Friday^ 2 2,rd. — We anchored off the Moro Castle, and 
at sunset warped into the harbour of Havanha. On 
the following day, at nine a.m., I landed for the first 
time in this fine city, certainly the metropolis of the 
West Indies, and replete with associations carrying us 
back to the time of Columbus, whose remains repose in 
the cathedral here. After taking a hasty survey of the 
city itself, I made an excursion to the Passeo, or public 
promenade, the Rotten Row of Havanha, returning in a 
volants to Custom-house Quay, when I dined at Madame 
Roulliet's Hotel, and got on board again at six p.m. 
The day was cloudy and showery. 

Sunday, 25///. — I paid a visit to the cathedral, where I 
saw the portrait and bust of the great Columbus, whose 
bones are preserved in a box placed in a niche of the 
wall to the left of the altar as you face it. Afterwards I 
rode out in a volantS to the Passeo, and walked through 
the Botanic Garden. On my return I had coffee, and 
one of those most deliciously cooling and refreshing 
draughts we called " iced grapes," at the General Caf6. 

Tuesday, 2'jth. — I paid the celebrated Cabana's cigar 
manufactory a visit ; when he himself very kindly showed 
me round the whole establishment, and whilst talking 
with him, he made me up with his own hands a speci- 
men cigar from one of the finest leaves he could select, 
and which, after the lapse of half a century, I have still 
in my possession, in my desk, not being a smoker myself. 
Returned on board in the afternoon. 

Wednesday, 28/^. — I landed at Regu'us, in a passage- 
boat, on a shooting excursion in the suburbs of Havanha, 
which I reached about noon. Having walked round the 
shores of the bay, I took a volantd through the town to 
the landing-place at the dockyard. I shot two small 
hawks and a finch. Passed a number of mango-trees, 
laden with fruit so ripe that they fell with the slightest 
touch to the ground, which beneath was strewed with 








A utobiography . 

them. 1 gathered and ate several ; but this handsome, 
tempting-looking fruit does not always justify one's 
expectations, as some varieties have a very unpleasant 
turpentine flavour. I got a refreshing draught of cocoa- 
nut milk at a cottage. From the highest range of hills, 
crested with a row of the tall, erect, and elegant cabbage- 
treto ien bounding the horizon from the harbour, I had 
a magnificent view of the richly-cultivated valley beyond, 
and a commanding prospect of Havanha itself. 

I passed through several plantations of tobacco, capsi- 
cum, swee^ potatoes, melons, plantains, &c., and through 
onv- i w* M .^retty gardens. Only saw two or three 

Thutcday, 2ifh. — Eight p.m., I went to the opera : left 
at nim , an J retui .; on board at ten p.m. After we had 
Icf t we disc J cr ." i !'i: we had made a great mistake ; 
having left at the end ,' ; e nrst act, under the impres- 
sion that it was all over. The audience all left the 
house with tickets of readmission, which we had not been 
aware of at the time. 

It is a spacious building, well lighted up by a hand- 
some chandelier and two tiers of lamps suspended from 
the centre of the roof, which was ornamented with figured 
paper, yellow and salmon being the prevailing tints, 
relieved by a dark neutral shade. The three tiers of boxes 
were surmounted by a gallery, and in the pit were about 
a dozen rows of seats, one or two of them being covered 
with red leather in each row. Over the stage was some 
motto, and an imitation scarlet festooned curtain. The 
prima donna was a tall, showy woman, with dark hair ; 
over which she wore a white cap, with the long 
ribbons flowing loose over her shoulders ; a white gown 
trimmed with blue ribbon, and short sleeves ; a blue silk 
apron, white stockings, with shoes having sandals of 
black ribbon round the ankles ; dark bracelets, like hair, 
round her wrists completed her costume. She had fine, 

" Ardea scolopacia " caught on board. 243 

two or three 

expressive eyes, full of animation, and a well-modulated 
voice ; age about thirty. 

Monday, Jime 2nd, — I went on shore and took a 
survey of the city, returning on board at five p.m. On 
the following morning, after breakfast, I went on shore 
again, visited the cafe, and crossed the harbour to the 
Moro Castle, inspecting the platforms and the fortifica- 
tions from the lighthouse to Fort Cabanas, returning on 
board about two p.m. Next day we sailed at daylight 
on a cruise to the westward along the land. On the loth, 
at five p.m., returned to our anchorage at Havanha, and 
on the 14th I went on shore, returning on board again 
in the afternoon. 

Sunday, i^th. — Sailed from Havanha at daylight for 
Jamaica. On the 23rd a large species of ardea {Ardea 
scolopacia) was caught on board, in sight of the Isle of 
Pines, and sent down to me by the officer of the watch. 
Its movements were peculiar and grotesque ; curving its 
very long, slender neck, and bending down its head, made 
low bows, then suddenly starting away, with its head pro- 
jecting and half-unfolded wings, it would strike the deck 
with its long, curlew-like beak, at the same time making 
a kind of half-hissing, half-blowing sound, then all at 
once quietly commence pruning its feathers ; the general 
gait being stooping. On the 26th two more of these 
singular birds were caught and sent down to me by the 

Monday, yuly -jth. — After a long beat-up from Cuba 
we anchored at ten a.m. in Port Royal Harbour, where 
orders were awaiting for us to prepare for sea again. 

Having again suffered from the yellow fever, and the 
effects of this climate, I went into Port Royal Hospital as 
a patient on Wednesday, the 9th of July ; and finding 
my general health very much broken up, and thoroughly 
disgusted both with the ship and the station to which I 
had been appointed, without any other alternative, on 

R 2 





!! i 

quitting England, I at once resolved to invalid for a third 
time ; and accordingly applied for a survey, which was held 
upon me at the hospital at eleven a.m. on the following 
day, and I was ordered a passage home, " for the pre- 
servation of my life," by the first packet. I took with 
me my pet Isle of Pines ardea, alive ; but on giving it 
in charge to the assistant-surgeon of the hospital, he 
placed it in the verandah, where the ants killed it. 

Wednesday, i6ik. — About the middle of the day, the 
sky became suddenly densely overcast with black clouds, 
and some showers of rain fell. It blew almost a hurricane, 
and in the middle of one of the heavy gusts, a poor, 
unhappy mocking-bird {Turdus polyglottus)^ I had noticed 
patiently brooding over her eggs in a nest, built in the fork 
of a tree opposite to where I was in the habit of sitting 
in the verandah, had her nest, with its treasures, blown 
down, and the eggs broken and scattered on the ground 

Saturday y \^th. — In the forenoon the Skylark packet 
arrived; and on the 25th I wrote a letter to the com- 
modore for a passage home in her ; and at four p.m. was 
discharged from the hospital on board the receiving-ship, 
Magnificent. Returning again on shore, I called on 
Dr. Linton, the surgeon of the hospital, from whom I had 
received the greatest kindness and attention whilst in the 
hospital. Between seven and eight p.m. the order for my 
passage home came on board the Skylark, and I slept on 
board of her. 

Saturday, 2tth. — The Skylark sailed for England on 
the 2nd of August, at ten a.m., and hove-to off Fortune's 
Island, and I landed there, but only for a few minutes. 
At two p.m. again hove-to off Crooked Island, and I 
again landed there, and went to the post-office. In the 
garden I discovered a humming-bird's nest, with two 
eggs, in a guava-tree, and I cut off the branch with the 
nest, and took it on board with me, after having had 

Invalided Home in the " Skylark'^ Packet. 245 

dinner and a stroll along the beach for about a mile, 
shooting a few birds. Made sail at sunset, and crossed 
the tropic nexi day. 

Monday, August 18///. — This evening we experienced 
a very sudden and decided change in the temperature for 
the first time since quitting the tropics. The wind was 
easterly, and we all felt as chilly as if we had crossed the 
Arctic circle with the setting sun. We passed much gulf- 
weed and many porpoises, with a few stormy petrel and 
sheerwater, and a hawk's-bill turtle was caught. 

Sunday, ^ist. — Saw the two lighthouses on the Lizard ; 
and at four p.m. anchored in Falmouth Harbour. Ac- 
companied Lieutenant Ladd, R.N., the commander of the 
packet, to Captain King's, the superintendent of the 
packet service ; and at eight p.m. I went to my old hotel, 
Selley's " Green Bank," where I slept. 

Monday, September ist. — At six a.m. started by the 
" Defiance " coach for London, where I arrived on the 
following day at ten p.m., and slept at the "Ship 
Hotel," Charing Cross. On the 4th went to the Admiralty, 
and took lodgings in Northumberland Street, Strand. 

September ^tli. — Passed as an invalid at the Admiralty. 

Monday, 22nd. — I called on my former messmate, 
Augustus Earle, at Greville Place, Kilburn, whom I 
found very ill indeed, never having recovered from the 
effects of his late voyage ; and it was but too evident 
there was now no hope for him. On the 26th I saw the 
exhibition of Sir John Ross's late expedition at Vaux- 
hall Gardens. On the 29th I left No. 35, Northumberland 
Street, and slept at the " Spread Eagle," starting the 
following day at 6.30 a.m. by the "Star" coach for 
Southtown, where I arrived the same evening. 


A utobiography . 



Four years on half-pay — Pedestrian tours through England and Wales — 
Visit to Dublin — Appointment to the Terror — Ship paid off. 

October ^tK 1834. — I left Southtown Terrace for London. 
On the 25th I took a lesson in bird-stufifing, having 
seen a case containing snipe in the window of my 
gun-maker, Wilkinson, of Pall Mall, so well set up, 
that I asked him for the address of the taxidermist. 

On the 27th my friend and former shipmate, Captain 
Charles Gray, of the Royal Marines, the author of a small 
volume of poems, called on me, to ask me to accompany 
him round the great brewery of Truman and H anbury. 
And so favourable an opportunity for seeing one of the 
largest of our metropolitan brewing establishments, next 
to Barclay and Perkins, was not to be lost. He intro- 
duced me to the manager, a friend and countryman of his, 
a Scotchman, who explained the whole process, and we 
tasted all kinds of the malt liquors from the casks, 
spent the day in a most agreeable and instructive manner, 
and obtained a thorough insight into the whole art of 

Having just completed the period of service which 
advanced my half-pay from five shillings to six shillings 
per day, and finding that my state of health was in any- 
thing but a satisfactory condition, after having been 
compelled to invalid no less than three times from the 
West India station, it became a paramount necessity 

%,. \ 

Making my first Pedestrian Tour. 


e manner. 

for me to obtain some respite for a time from such a 
harassing kind of service for its re-establishment. I 
therefore came to the conclusion that the most judicious 
course to adopt would be a line of action that would 
combine change of air and scene with occupation for both 
mind and body at the same time, and thus prepare myself 
mentally and physically for the satisfactory performance 
of my duties in any expedition of discovery and research 
it might be my good fortune in the future to be employed 
in, more especially as a naturalist and geologist, a hope 
which had not been altogether chilled or relinquished 
by the past uncongenial nature of the services which had 
hitherto fallen to my lot. To carry out my views I pro- 
posed to myself to make a series of pedestrian tours 
through England and Wales during the summer months ; 
and to devote the winter season to courses of lectures on 
natural history, geology, botany, chemistry, and some of 
the professional courses, uniting with the attendance on 
these a course of reading at the libraries of the British 
Museum and the College of Surgeons. 

I began my first tour in the winter, in consequence of a 
desire to remove my mother and sisters, at as early a 
period as possible, from Norfolk, a place so much out 
of my way that much expense and loss of time was 
incurred in going backwards and forwards to see them, 
myself being the only relative remaining to them since 
our father's death. This determined me not to allow 
the advent of winter to interfere 

Monday, November 2\th, 1834. — I started at 7.30 a.m. 
on my first pedestrian tour from my lodgings in North- 
umberland Street, Strand, with the main object now of 
finding a suitable place of residence for the removal of my 
mother and sisters to, having previously forwarded on my 
portmanteau by coach to Oxford, to be left at the office 
of the " Mitre Tavern " till called for. Thus, unencum- 
bered by baggage, I now fairly commenced my journey 


( 1 






f ;il 


A utobiog raphy. 

from Hyde Park Corner at 8.20 a.m., dressed in a 
Florentine shooting- jacket and Swiss check trousers, 
with a change of linen in my pocket, compass and ther- 
mometer, road-book and note-book. I reached Maiden- 
head at five p.m., and took up my quarters at the 
" Commercial Inn," twenty-six miles from town, but, 
including the detour I made through Windsor Park, I 
had walked at least thirty miles. 

In this, my first excursion, from which I returned on 
the 5th of February, 1835, I walked over 468 miles, 
through the counties of Middlesex, Berkshire, Oxford- 
shire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, 
Somersetshire, and Devonshire ; visiting all the chief 
towns and places worth seeing ; making a stay of a fort- 
night at Cheltenham, the most beautiful and pleasant of 
all our inland watering-places, as I think. I completed 
my tour at Plymouth ; the last day's journey from Dart- 
mouth, thirty miles, being, with the first day's to 
Maidenhead, the two longest days* work in the tour. I 
returned from Plymouth to London by the Dublin 

Thtirsday, May 7///. — I left town at ten a.m. on my 
second tour, going through Deptford to Sevenoaks Com- 
mon, where at 7.30 p.m. I took up my quarters for the 
night at the "White Hart Inn," a very comfortable inn, 
embosomed in shrubs and trees, and a pretty garden. 
My course lay through Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, along 
the southern coast to Brighton, &c. I was absent about 
eleven days, walking over 211 miles — the longest day's 
journey being twenty-seven miles — returning to town, 
through Kingston, on the 17th. 

Monday, May 25M. — I left town on my third tour by 
the Edgeware Road ; reached Tring, thirty-one miles, at 
8.30 p.m., and slept at an inn there. In this journey 
through the inland counties to Liverpool — across the 
island from the banks of the Thames to the Mersey — I 

Visit io Dublin. 


walked 227 miles in eiji^ht days, through the counties 
of Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Buckinyhainshire, North- 
amptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, 
Cheshire, and Lancashire ; the lontjest day's journey 
being thirty-eight miles. I entered Liverpool at nine 
p.m. on the ist of June, and only remained there that 
night, at a very uncomfortable and dirty inn, although 
one of the largest in Dale Street. 

June 2nd. — On going to the Steam-Packet Office this 
morning I ascertained that there was no direct convey- 
ance to London without going vid Dublin, and as two 
boats were to start in opposition to day at two p.m. to 
meet the London steamer next morning, rather than 
lose a week I made up my mind to start at once. After 
seeing the Zoological Gardens, I embarked in th packet 
at two p.m. to-day for Dublin ; and on Wednesday, the 
3rd, after a fourteen hours' passage, I for the first time in 
my life set my foot on the shores of Hibcrnia, the land 
of my father's nativity. Having only ti <; for a hasty 
survey of the place, however, I covered a good deal of 
ground before breakfast, which I had at the " Northum- 
berland Coffee-house." Afterwards I walked through the 
Phoenix Park, about two miles distant ; and at three p.m. 
started from the North Wall in the City of Londonderry 
steamer for London, where I arrived at seven p.m. on 
Sunday, the 7th, having put into Falmouth and Plymouth 
to land passengers on the way and get in coal. After 
an absence of about a fortnight I returned to my old 
lodgings in Northumberland Court, Nos. 2 and 35. At 
the latter I engaged additional rooms for my mother and 
sisters, whom I met on the arrival of the Yarmouth 
coach at the " Saracen's Head," Aldgate, at eight a.m. 
on the 19th of June, and at four p.m. removed them to 
No. 9, Craven Street. 

Saturday, July \Wi. — At 7.30 a.m. we embarked in 
the Cornubia steamer for Exmouth, where I had secured 




A utobiography . 

m m 

I!:, 1 

lodgings for them, and where we arrived at 5.30 a.m. on 
the 20th, aid at eight a.m. took possession of rooms in 
Cleveland Cottage, a very pretty house in a good garden, 
for a month. During our residence there I made excur- 
sions to all the watering-places skirting the coast in the 
vicinity, to find a suitable place of residence for them. 
Lovely spots, and combining all the advantriges of beau- 
tiful sea and land views, with a fine mild climate, and 
cheap living, which I should have preferred myself to 
any other part of England ; but they could not make up 
their minds, coming as they did from a large town like 
Yarmouth, to take up a permanent abode at any of them, 
under the impression that the winters in such small towns 
would be too dull ; and I had to proceed on to Plymouth 
with them, where a large bustling seaport town might 
offer a better chance of pleasing them. Accordingly, on 
the 1 8th of August, we all went to Torquay to catch the 
steamer for Plymouth, sleeping at "Cole's Inn," and on 
the following morning proceeded in the Brunswick 
steamer to Devonport. Took lodgings at No. 2, Home 
Park Place, until a suitable house could be found ; when, 
on the 3rd of September, No. 2, York Place, Stoke, 
having been fixed upon, they took possession, and I 
furnished it. 

This anxiety being off my mind, and seeing through 
the daily papers that my old shipmate with Parry, Captain 
James Clark Ross, was fitting out the Cove at Hull for 
the relief of the ice-bound whalers, I wrote to him on the 
19th of December ; and not getting an answer, I wrote 
again on the 23rd, offering to accompany him. On the 
26th Captain Ross wrote to say that my first letter had 
never reached him, and that when he received my last, 
on Christmas Day, all the appointments had been filled 
up ; but as the Terror was to follow him out as soon as 
commissioned, he promised to apply to the Admiralty for 
my being appointed to her. She is now lying here. 

I I 

iJ \ 

Appointment to H. M.S. ''Terror'' at Chatham. 251 

On the 5th of January, 1836, I made a personal ap- 
plication to the Admiralty for her, and on the 20th 
of February was appointed to the Terror, lying at 
Chatham. Soon after I had joined her there was a 
rumour on board that Ross on his return from the North 
would receive the command of an expedition to the 
Antarctic Seas for magnetic observations. This was on 
the 27th, and on the following day I dined with the 
Commander of the Terror at his lodgings on shore, to 
meet the celebrated nautical novelist, Captain Marryatt, 
whom I had never before seen. He talked in the same 
broad, humorous way in which he writes. 

The missing whale-ships, with one exception, having 
found their way home, the Admiralty no longer considered 
it incumbent on them to send the Terror out ; the con- 
sequence was our being paid off after having been some 
five weeks in commission ; and on the 24th of March I 
again found myself on half-pay. On the 28th I returned 
to town, and on Good Friday, the ist of April, I dined 
with my former shipmate, Charles James Beverley, and 
Ills wife, at their residence, Bethnal Green. They have 
a billiard-table in the house, and I played a game of 
billiards, for the first time in my life, under the instruc- 
tion of Mrs. Beverley, who, like her husband, is very 
fond of the game. Beverley told me that he had also 
been a volunteer for the Cove, in search of the missing 
whalers, but like myself unsuccessful. 

On the 5th I attended Professor Grant's introductory 
lecture on Fossil Zoology. 

On ihe TQth I returned to Plymouth by the steamer, 
and on the 26th commenced a series of excursions in the 
vicinity, each occupying a day's journey, varying from 
twenty to thirty miles a day : to Plympton St. Mary, 
Ivy bridge, Buckland Abbey (once the residence of 
the celebrated Sir Francis Drake), Tavistock, Crowndale 
(about a mile from the latter place was his birthplace). 

' il 

• m r ^' ' 


^ 1 :<« 

A utobiography: 

Torpoint, Bickley Wood, and Saltash. In returning 
from the latter place, my favourite dog Hecla was nearly 
meeting with a serious accident. Whilst heedlessly 
chasing some small bird in his playful mood along the 
green bank bounding the Devonport lines, before 
he could arrest his speed he went over the precipitous 
edge of the fosse, down a depth of some fifty or sixty 
feet, and, what was scarcely to be anticipated, received 
not the slightest injury. He was a beautiful high-bred 
liver-and-white coloured spaniel, of most symmetrical 
form, intelligent and active, and was the constant com- 
panion of my daily rambles. The last of these excur- 
sions was on the 7th of July, over Maker Heights and 
Mount Edgecumbe to Cawsand Bay. 



\ : 





Fourth walking tour — West of England and Wales — Ascent of Cadtr 
Idris — A balloon on her Majesty's Coronation Day. 

Friday^ July 22nd, 1836.^ — I started, for the fourth time, 
from Stoke at 10.30 a.m., on a summer excursion, on 
my birthday, leaving by the Tavistock Road. Passed 
through the counties of Devonshire, Somersetshire, 
Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shrop- 
shire, and Warwickshire. The first day across Dartmoor 
to Moreton Hampstead, thirty miles, where I slept at the 
inn. On the 30th I revisited my favourite watering- 
place, Cheltenham, where I remained until the 8th of 
August, at very comfortable lodgings. Visited the 
various spas ; made an excursion to Tewkesbury and its 
old battle-field, and another to Malvern, ascending the 
ridge of hills above the Wells, and descending by the 
Witches' Pass, a wild, romantic-looking gap cut through 
the solid perpendicular rock. The 14th and 15th I spent 
in Ludlow ; breakfasted, dined, and slept at the " Elephant 
and Castle," one of the oldest inns, having the rafters 
appearing black outside the walls, giving a magpie-like 
colouring. Had a fine view of the old castle from a 
lane called the Linney, on the Sunday evening, where 
I was caught in a severe storm of thunder and lightning, 
with heavy showers, the rain falling in torrents. Got 
shelter in a cottage there. 

I reached Leamington on the 17th, and had intended 


{ 1 


A ntobiography. 


i .i 

\t \ 

r» .».' 

'■( ,1! 

remaining here for a short time, for the benefit of the 
mineral waters. When finding through the daily papers 
that the Cove had returned to Hull from the North, and 
being anxious to see Captain Ross as soon as possible 
after his return, I resolved to start at once for town ; so 
that my present tour was thus upset and brought to a 
premature close. I left Leamington by the coach on 
the following day, Saturday, the 27th, and arrived in 
London about seven p.m. I had gone over a distance 
of 353 miles on foot; the last day but one before my 
arrival at Leamington being the longest day's journey, 
thirty-four miles. 

On Monday, October yd, I had an interview with 
Captain Ross at his lodgings, Westbourne Green, and 
volunteered my services for the next expedition, and he 
promised me that no one else should be appointed. 

Tuesday, October wth, — At eight a.m. I left the 
" Golden Cross," Strand, by the " Telegraph" coach, for 
Southampton, and on the 1 3th embarked in the Saumarez 
packet for the island of Jersey, where I arrived at noon 
of the 15th, on a visit to an old messmate residing there — 
at Bagot, about a mile from St. Helier's. During my 
stay, made six excursions in the island, going over from 
ten to twenty miles a day, making in the aggregate 
about ninety miles in all. Limited, but varied scenery. 

On the 30th I left Jersey in the Sir Francis Drake 
steamer. We anchored off the town of St. Peter's Port, 
Guernsey, for an hour and a half, to land and to take 
passengers on board ; which enabled me to see something 
of the island, by landing and making an excursion, as far 
as the limited time would permit. The day following 
we arrived at Plymouth, where I remained throughout 
most of the winter, with my mother and sisters, at Stoke, 
employing myself chiefly at the reading-rooms, and get- 
ting books from the library. 

January \st, 1837. — I attended the morning service 

Attendance on the Winter Courses of Lectures. 255 

ling service 

at the Dockyard Chapel. On the 3rd I called on Sir 
George Magrath, an old brother officer resident in 
Plymouth ; and on the day following he called on me 
at Stoke. 

On the 30th I embarked in the Shannon steamer for 
London, to attend the courses of lectures on Natural 
History, &c., during the winter season. 

Monday, February 2nd, — I entered my name at the 
London University, to Dr. Grant's course of lectures on 
Zoology, and attended the first lecture at three p.m. The 
introductory one, however, had been delivered yesterday. 
The class was a very small one ; the number of my ticket, 
about the last one, was twenty-eight. On the 3rd inst. I 
called at our office, Somerset House, and got a certificate 
for free admission to the various courses of lectures de- 
livered at King's College during the session, half-pay 
medical officers of the navy having honorary admission 
on a recommendation from their Board. 

From two to three p.m. I attended Professor Daniell's 
lecture on Chemistry, and on the same day, Dr. Todd's 
lecture on Physiology. On the 4th, from seven to 
eight p.m., Dr. Watson's lecture on Influenza. On the 
6th, at eleven a.m.. Dr. Royle's lecture on Materia 
Medica. From three to four p.m., Dr. Grant's lecture 
at University College ; and Dr. Arnott's lecture on 
Surgery, at King's College, at seven to eight p.m. On 
the 7th, at ten a.m.. Professor Partridge's Anatomical 
Demonstration, and afterwards Professor Rymer Jones's 
Microscopic Experiments. 

2\st. — Read for about two hours in the library of 
the Royal College of Surgeons, for the first time since 
it was opened, after being rebuilt. Began a regular 
course of reading of the best works on natural history, 
Humboldt's and others. 

March ist. — I visited the new museum of the college 
for the first time. 



A ntobiography. 


II ! 




April i8M. — At four p.m. went to the theatre of the 
college and heard Stanley's lecture on the Bones. 

Monday, May \st. — Visited the rooms of the Royal 
Academy in Trafalgar Square, which were open to the 
public for the first time to-day, with the exhibition 
of paintings. Entered my name at King's College, to 
the courses of lectures on Botany and Experimental 

Tuesday, May 2nd. — At 3.30 p.m. attended Professor 
Ritchie's lecture on Natural Philosophy, at the United 
Service Museum ; at 4.30 p.m., Professor Owen's 
lecture at the theatre of the College of Surgeons, on 
Comparative Anatomy ; and at eight p.m. the concluding 
lecture of the course on Compensative Anatomy, by 
Professor Rymer Jones. 

Wednesday, May yd. — I attended Don's lecture on 
Botany, at King's College at nine a.m. On the 4th, I 
attended Professor Owen's lecture at the College of Sur- 
geons, Sir Astley Cooper in the chair : it was crowded. 
The lecture embraced the history and progress of natural 
history, from the time of Aristotle and Pliny, with very 
graphic descriptions of the ancient Romans, spectacles of 
wild animals in the arena, &c. Altogether a most in- 
teresting and instructive lecture, replete with enthusiasm 
and eloquence. 

Tuesday, gth. — At eight p.m. went to Professor 
Wheatstone's lecture on Measures of Sound, at King's 

Wednesday, ["jth. — At three p.m. went to Professor 
Phillips' lecture at King's College, the introductory one, 
on Organic Remains. 

The various courses of lectures which I had been in 
regular attendance on, since the commencement of the 
session, having now been brought to a close, and having 
nothing further to detain me longer in town, on June 
1st I sent on my portmanteau by the Dublin steamer to 

Fifth and Sixth Tours through tite Western Counties. 257 

Plymouth, with the intention of making another pedes- 
trian trip westward to Plymouth. 

June i^th, 1837.— At seven p.m. I reached Stoke, on 
my fifth tour; having left Hyde Park Corner at 3.30 
p.m. on the ist; passing by Virginia Water, through 
Hounslow, Reading — by the celebrated Mary Russell 
Mitford's cottage at Three Mile Cross ; continuing my 
course through Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorsetshire (calling 
on Miss Anning and her mother, at their humble cottage 
in Lyme Regis, to see her fine collection of the fossils 
from the Lias Cliffs adjacent). Coasting Somerset- 
shire and Devonshire, I slept at the " Valley of Rocks 
Hotel," beautifully situated above Linmouth, in the valley 
beneath, on the Linton Cliffs. When two miles from 
South Moulton I caught a young rabbit as it scrambled 
up the hedge-row from the roadside, and carried it home 
with me, passing through Tavistock to Stoke. Daring 
the fortnight I travelled over 335 miles. The longest 
day's work was thirty-four miles. 

Saturday, July 22nd, 1837. — The anniversary of my 
birthday. I left Stoke on my sixth tour, and at one 
p.m. embarked from the Barbican in the Sir Francis 
Drake for Falmouth, which we reached at seven p.m. 
1 walked on to Penryn; slept at the " King's Arms Inn" 
there; and on the following morning started for Penzance, 
visiting St. Michael's Mount, and making an excursion 
from Penzance to the noted Logan Rock and the Land's 
End : the view from the latter, as I stood at seven p.m. 
on a lovely summer evening on the edge of the over- 
hanging cliff, was most charming. The Longships, a 
ledge of rocks, with its lighthouse about a mile distant; 
the wide expanse of the Atlantic spread out before me ; 
and as I stepped on the extreme western point of Eng- 
land—a beetling rock, deeply cleft from the general 
mass — the sea beneath me smooth as a mill-pond, 
a fine hawk rose from the rock within a few feet of mc, 

vor,. ir. s 












u '? 






gliding downwards in a easy, graceful flight. The bird, 
whose back was towards me, had evidently been so intently 
occupied in observing something below the rock on which 
he was perched, as not to notice my approach until I was 
quite close to him. The loud and vociferous screaming 
of the numerous sea-mews, on being suddenly disturbed 
in their solitary haunt, might very possibly have for the 
moment distracted his attention. I now retraced my 
steps to Penzance, distant from the Land's End ten miles. 
Reached the " Dolphin Inn," where I slept, at ten p.m. 
The following morning early, I started for St. Ives, dis- 
tant eight miles. From this place I took my passage 
in a boat for Ilfracombe, where I landed about midnight, 
and slept at the " Packet Hotel." 

Wednesday., 26///. — Just as I had finished breakfast, a 
small sloop of seventy tons, called the Happy Return, with 
only two hands besides the captain, was about starting 
for Swansea, the place of my destination ; in which I 
embarked, and in about three and a half hours was landed 
in Swansea, South Wales, at 3.30 p.m. 

Passing through the counties of Carmarthen, Pem- 
broke, and others along the coast of Wales, I visited 
Tenby (rounding St. David's Head), Cardigan, and 
Aberystwith, and entered North Wales by the Devil's 
Bridge, a cleft in the rock, or narrow ravine, four miles 
beyond which is a large posting-house, with the not very 
euphonious name of the " Gogerddam Arms," Ponterwyd, 
in a most bleak and lonely situation, surrounded on all 
sides by barren hills. The charges for very indifferent 
accommodation were exorbitant, as I have found to be 
generally the case with the inns in Wales, and far inferior 
in every respect to those in England. 

Sunday Morning, August 6th. — After breakfasting at 
the inn, I started about noon for the town of Machynlleth, 
in ]VIontgomeryshire,fifteenmilesdistant. One of the most 
toilsome, difficult, and perplexing routes I ever undertook. 





rs was landed 

Perplexing Rotile ov^r the Moor lo Machynlleth. 259 

My way lay over a bleak, barren moor, without a trace of 
road or path, tractless as the desert, with no other guide 
than my little pocket compass. My course being due 
north, over hills and hollows, through peat-bogs and 
valleys, till a mountain stream suddenly arrested my pro- 
gress, when luckily I met a young man and woman, but 
who could not speak a word other than their native Welsh 
tongue, who by signs directed me to a hut, from one of 
the inmates of which I learnt that the stream was fordable 
a short distance further on. I was now about six miles 
on my way across the moor, from which my course lay 
pver ridges of hi'ls and a deep and broad valley, filled 
with peat bogs, through which 1 had to plod, with my feet 
well sodden with water. At last, on getting clear of the 
moorland, I entered a field of corn through a gateway, 
then followed a zigzag path through a deeply wooded 
glen, at the bottom of which a mountain stream dashed 
along in murmuring eddies through the channel it had cut 
for itself in the rocks, winding in serpentine curves through 
a perfect labyrinth of overhanging trees. This path I 
•followed for about a mile, when I emerged upon the turn- 
pike road about two miles from Machynlleth, situated 
in a valley, and which I entered about 5.30 p.m., thanks 
to my pocket compass ; for without this I could never 
have threaded my way through such a succession of 
tractless bogs and hollows, hemmed in on all sides by 
ruesfed hills, before niofht had overtaken me. 

Monday, Jih. — I left Machynlleth at eight a.m. ; and 
at six p.m. reached the pretty rustic-looking little inn of 
" Penny-bont," or " Tally-y-lyn," grown all over with ivy. 
This was the most comfortable resting-place I had as yet 
met with in Wales ; everything good, both attendance and 
food, and for my dinner I had excellent trout from the 
lake adjacent, and which nearly fills the lovely valley. 

Tuesday, Slh. — At nine a.m. I commenced the ascent 
of the steep mountain of Cader-Idris, at the back of it, to 

s 2 


I > 




make my way down the opposite side to Dolgelly. I 
reached the summit at 11.30 a.m., and at noon I began 
the descent ; but where I attempted it the steepness and 
treacherous nature of the ground beneath my feet com- 
pelled me to edge round to a more promising part, where 
I accomplished the descent ; and on my entering Dolgelly, 
at three p.m., I was told that even the natives here never 
attempted the spot I failed in. The distance I had 
walked to-day from Tally-y-lyn over Cader-Idris to 
Dolgelly was about twelve miles. On calling at the 
post-office I found a letter for me which upset all my 
plans for this tour, being nothing less than an appoint- 
ment to the flag-ship at Malta, as a supernumerary, to go 
out in the next Falmouth packet to join her. As this 
letter had already been a week in finding me, I at once 
wrote to the Admiralty, explaining the cause of the delay, 
and made up my mind at the same time to return, vid 
Dublin, by the steamer ; for by so doing I should pro- 
bably lose no more time than if I proceeded by coach, 
with the number of changes of coaches, and other delays 
on the road I should incur ; and it would afford me an 
opportunity of completing a larger portion of my original 
intended tour. After sleeping at the " Ship Inn," I started 
on the following morning, Wednesday, the 9th, for Bar- 
mouth, ten miles distant, along one of the most charming 
pieces of road, finely wooded, and extending through 
beautiful sylvan scenery to the fine, long stretch of white 
sandy beach at Barmouth. The day was drawing to a 
close, 7.30 p.m., when I reached the "Goat Hotel," 
Beddgelert, embosomed in hills, in a quiet, sequestered, 
and picturesque spot. I had tea, and a bed made up for 
me on a sofa, as the house was quite full, being a fashion- 
able place of resort for families and tourists to Snowdon 
during the season. It is the most handsomely furnished, 
and altogether the best hotel I have been to throughout 
my tour in Wales, and within four miles of Snowdon. 




Return from Tour ifi Wales , vid Dublin. 261 

Thursday, August lotk. — At five a.m., after an early 
breakfast of bread and milk, I started from Beddgelert, 
having a fine view of Snowdon as I passed by its base. 
I went through Carnarvon, Bangor, and over the Menai 
Bridge ; and as I crossed Anglesea in the shades of 
evening I saw lapwings in the meadows — the first I have 
met with in Wales — and heard the curlews whistling on the 
mud-flats as I approached the causeway to Holyhead 
about a mile in length, I should think ; but it was quite 
dark before I entered the " Royal Hotel," at 9.30 p.m., 
where I had a bottle of stout, and slept, after my unusually 
long day's journey of forty-six miles, the longest I had 
accomplished throughout all my wanderings. On the 
following morning, the nth, I embarked from the pier 
in the Government steamer. We were about six hours 
on the passage to Kingstown, and from this I went by 
rail to Dublin. Dined at the " Northumberland Coffee- 
house," and slept at their adjoining hotel. 

Saturday, \2th. — Embarked in the Limerick steamer. 

Monday, 14///. — Landed at five a.m. at the Barbi- 
can, Plymouth, and on going to the Naval Hospital 
found no further instructions for me. 

During this tour I walked over fifty-eight miles in 
England, and in Wales 316 miles ; making a total of 374 
miles. Having reported my return in a letter to the 
Admiralty, on the 22nd I received a reply from the 
secretary, stating my appointment had been cancelled. 

Saturday, September 30///. — I took the coach to 
London, accompanied by Purser Halse, a former ship- 
mate of mine in the old Hecla. 

Monday, October 2nd. — At two p.m. I attended Pro- 
fessor Cooper's introductory lecture at the London 
University, and presented Dr. Grant with a specimen of 
the Ardea scolopacia from the island of Cuba ; and at 
three p.m. on the following day I attended his introduc- 
tory lecture on Comparative Anatomy, and the next day 





his first lecture on Polygastric Animals. I obtained 
tickets from Professors Daniell and Rynv^r Jones for their 
courses of Chemistry and Comparative Anatomy, which 
• I continued to attend daily throughout the session, com- 
bined with a regular course of reading at the library 
of the College of Surgeons. On the gth, at two p.m., 1 
attended Professor Daniell's introductory lecture on 
Chemistry, and on the following day. Professor Rymer 
Jones's introductory lecture. 

Novevibcr i \th. — I received an appointment to H.M.S. 
Thunder, at Portsmouth, but on the 15th I got it can- 
celled. My object is to get out in the Antarctic Expe- 

February Wt, 1838. — I delivered a note of introduction 
I had received from Dr. Robert Willis, the librarian of 
the College of Surgeons, to Sir Henry Ellis, the librarian 
of the British Museum, for an admission ticket to the 
reading-room of the British Museum for six months, 
and at once commenced my course of reading there 
with Ackermann's " Tour of the English Lakes," and 
Dr. James Johnson's " Economy of Health," and spent 
the evening at the reading-room of the College of 
Surgeons. On the i4tli attended the " Hunterian 
Oration," at the theatre of the college, by Mr. Travers, 
from five to six p.m. Sir Anthony Carlisle, president : 
Sh* Astley Cooper and Sir James Clark were present. 
On the 20th attended Professor Moseley's introductory 
lecture on Mechani' j, at three p.m., at King's College. 

March i.y/.— M/ old friend, Lieut. Rogier, R.N., 
having breakfasted with me, we went afterwards to the 
Admiralty, where he introduced me to Captain Becher 
and the Walkers, two brothers, all in the Hydrographical 
Department. Here we met Captain James Ross, fr'-n 
whom I learnt that the Admiralty had given up the t 
templated expedition to the North. 

On Good Friday, the 13th of April, I walked to 


H: I t 

Aticuti Lcclures on Natural History^ &c. 263 

Woolwich, and dined with my old friend and former 
shipmate, Captain Charles Gray, of the Royal Marines, 
at the mess, at six p.m. Colonel Bcattie, brother of Sir 
William Beattie, Lord Nelson's surgeon at Trafalgar, 
was present. 

Tuesday, yZ/r/V i;//^— I attended Professor Daniell's 
last lecture on Chemistry, which concludes the six months' 
course, and with which I have been greatly amused and 

On the 2 1 St, having called on Captain Ross at his 
lodgings, I learnt from him that the British Association 
of Science intended, at their next meeting, to propose an 
expedition being fitted out for making magnetic observa- 
tions in a high southern latitude. I again reminded him 
that I was still a volunteer for it, and my offer was 
cordially accepted. 

Monday, 27,rd. — At nine p.m. I attended the meeting 
of the Geographical Society; Mr. Hamilton in the chair. 
The Hudson's Bay Company's discoveries formed the 
subject, and Sir John Barrow rose and said that for 
twenty years past he had been looked upon as a visionary, 
but that he still believed in there being an open sea and 
Polar basin. 

Tuesday, 2^th. — At four p.m. I attended Stanley's lec- 
ture on the "Articulations of the Joints," at the theatre 
of the college. 

May \st. — At nine a.m. attended Don's lecture (intro- 
ductory) on Botany at King's College: a heavy and 
monotonous lecturer. 

On the 3rd I was at the distribution of prizes to the 
'nedical students at King's College, at two p.m. ; the 
Archbishop of Canterbury in the chair. My old tutor, 
Sir Astley Cooper, was present, and made a long speech 
to the students. 

May ith. — I obtained tickets for the courses of lectures 
on Geology by Phillips, Bell's Zoology, and Taylor's 


\ 1 -J -■ 

If!* if >.ii lii'i 1 

f ■ 5 ii : i 


,;.: . 


A utobiog raphy . 

Forensic Medicine. At noon visited the opening of the 
Royal Academy in the east wing of the National Gallery. 
On the 8th attended Moseley's lecture at three p.m., and 
Professor Owen's at the College of Surgeons at four p.m. 
On the 10th heard Taylor's introductory lecture on 
Forensic Medicine and Owen's Comparative Anatomy at 
the college. 

On the nth, at seven p.m., attended Bell's lecture 
(introductory) on Zoology, at King's College. On the 
14th, at three p.m.. Professor Phillips' introductory 
lecture on Geology. On the i8th, at ten a.m., Partridge's 
first lecture on Operative Surgery, and Bell's on Zoology 
in the evening. On Friday, 25th, ten a.m., I went to a 
meeting at Exeter Hall, on " Negro Emancipation," Lord 
Brougham in the chair, who spoke for above an hour 
with his customary eloquence, as did also O'Connell. 

Finday, June %tk. — I called upon Sir Astley Cooper, 
in Conduit Street, who received me with a warm, friendly 
grasp of the hand. We had a long talk about Polar 
Expeditions, and he invited me to breakfast with him on 
any day next week that might suit me, at nine a.m. 

Saturday, i6ik. — I visited the museum and library of 
the East India House, lately opened to the public. On 
the 22nd, .about noon, I again called upon my kind- 
hearted old friend, Sir. Astley Cooper, who, upon my 
saying that it was my intention to go to Scarborough for 
the benefit of the mineral waters and sea-bathing, said 
that he had been there lately himself, kindly giving me 
his card, with the intimation that it might be the means 
of obtaining for myself a like attention from our profes- 
sional brethren there he had received. 
• Thursday, 2?,tk, — I witnessed the coronation procession 
on its way from Pall Mall to Westminster Abbey, and saw 
the splendid illuminations in the evening. About the 
middle of the day a large balloon, with several persons in 
the car, appeared over Northumberland House, descend- 

Embark in the " Duchess of Kent ''for Ramsgate. 265 

ing so near to the roofs of the houses that sand had to be 
thrown out, when it rapidly ascended, taking a north- 
westerly course. 

On the 29th I attended the last lecture of Bell's very 
meagre and superficial course on Zoology. On the day 
following I attended Professor Owen's last lecture on 
Comparative Anatomy at four p.m., having to run most 
of the way from King's College to the College of 
Surgeons to be in time, as I had been from two till four 
p.m. at the distribution of prizes in King's College by the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Wednesday, July ^th. — I made my way, through a 
dense crowd into Westminster Abbey to see the corona- 
tion throne, &c., now open to the public. 

Saturday, \\th. — The lecture session having now been 
brought to a close, I got all my tickets to them registered 
at the Board, Somerset House, yesterday, and having 
now nothing to detain me longer in town, I started at 
nine a.m. by the Duchess of Kent steamer for Ramsgate, 
on a visit to my old friend, Lieutenant Rogier, R.N., 
landing at the pier, between five and six p.m. ; and on 
reaching his residence. No. 16, Royal Terrace, learnt from 
Mrs. Rogier that he had gone to the pier to meet me, 
and somehow we missed each other. On his return we 
had tea, and afterwards took, a stroll on the parade. 
Having passed a week here very pleasantly with my 
friends, on the 20th I returned by the Emerald steamer 
to town to follow up my summer pedestrian tours. 


': ■ '.'. 




A utobiography. 



^s *" 

In the Lake District— Ascent of Skiddaw and Helvtllyn— A rough walk 

to Ambleside. 

July 22nd, 1838, — At one p.m. I started, on the anni- 
versary of my birthday, for the Lake District, leaving 
town by the Shoreditch Road. My first stay was at 
Hertford, twenty- four miles, where I slept. From thence 
my course lay through Cambridge, Oundle, Weldon, Not- 
tingham (visiting Newstead Abbey), Chesterfield, Don- 
caster, Harrogate, Knaresborough, York, &c. Reached 
Scarborough on the seventeenth day, Tuesday, the 7th 
of August, having walked over, in this first stage of my 
tour, 319 miles. Here I took very comfortable lodgings, 
at No. 4, Wellington Place, where I remained three weeks, 
drinking the mineral waters, and bathing in the sea from 
the open sandy beach of the little bay on the other side 
of the castle cliff, making excursions from this to Filey, 
P'k.mborough Head, Bridlington Quay, &c. 

Thursday, August 30///. — I took my departure from 
Scarborough by Robin Hood's Bay to Whitby; visited the 
birthplace of our great navigator. Captain James Cook, 
in the sequestered village of Marton, and Ayton, to which 
he removed. Passed through Durham to Houghton-le- 
Spring, where I slept at the " White Lion," and the next 
morning, Monday, September 3rd, I descended the 
Belmont coal-mine at Rainton, three miles distant, 
accompanied by the '* viewer," who explained to me 

Descent of the Belmont Coal-mine. 


everything worth notice, and to whom I had been intro- 
duced by a young farmer I accidentally met in the coffee- 
room of the inn. The depth of the shaft is only fifty-six 
fathoms, being a new mine, and only been worked for 
the space of two years, employing about 200 hands 
with twenty-two horses. The viewer told me that pro- 
bably 100 chaldrons would be brought up to the pit's 
mouth to-day, and that when all hands are at work at 
the seams of coal, averaging four and a half feet in 
thickness, double the quantity. We groped our way 
through these burrowings in the carboniferous strata for 
about three quarters of a mile in a direct line, occupying 
nearly four hours, it being two p.m. when we again 
reached the surface. This was to me a most interest- 
ing and instructive day's work. 

My journey now lay through Sunderland, Shields, 
Newcastle, &c., to the Roman Wall and military road. 
At the village of Glenwhelt I took up my quarters for 
the night at the " Globe," a small country inn, as much 
farmhouse as tavern, on the roadside. It was without 
exception the most comfortable and cosy little inn I have 
ever sojourned at, and the cheapest, notwithstanding the 
abundant supply of everything, and of the best quality. 
No charge having been made in the bill for the bed — 
which was a most comfortable one, with snow-white 
sheets, in a large airy room, furnished with cases of 
stuffed birds, maps on the walls, and a fine pair of fossil 
antlers from the morass belov/ the Roman Wall, orna- 
mented the kitchen mantlepiece — I was told that no 
char^re was made for a bed when refreshments were taken 
in the coffee-room ; and I had an excellent supper over- 
night, tea, with delicious cream, and with toast and butter, 
equally good, mutton chops, &c., and the next morning a 
breakfast in equal perfection, and all for the very small 
amount of three shillings, the landlord's little daughter 
waiting on me. The wine and beer-cellar was excavated 


':' m 





^ utobiography . 

■i i 


P i:; 


out of the solid rock. Singular enough, I here saw in 
the Neivtcstle Chronicle of the ist the British Associa- 
tion of Science' proposal of a magnetic expedition to the 
Antarctic Seas. I visited the spa of Gilsland, about a 
mile distant. This sulphur spring arises in a deep 
circular glen, enclosed on all sides by densely wooded 
hills, forming perhaps the most romantic and sequestered 
spot of the kind in England. I now continued on to 
Longtown, on the Esk, the last town on the English 
border, and reached the far-famed Gretna Green in the 
dusk of the evening. Here I took up my quarters for 
the night at the " Greta Hall Inn," a most comfortable 
house. The best front parlour, where the runaway 
couples have the ceremony performed by the inn- 
keeper himself, has the model of a line-of-battle ship 
standing in a corner : the bedroom adjoining com- 
municates by means of folding doors. I had my supper 
in the back-parlour at the extremity of the hall on 
the left : a sofa in the room. I slept in No. 3, also at 
the back of the house, having two windows commanding 
a fine prospect of the country and hills of Scotland. 
Beneath the windows quite a farmyard, enlivened by the 
quacking of the ducks in a pond on the small green. 
The rooks were cawing in the shrubbery, flanked by the 
cornfield and stacks. Having slept one night actually 
on Scotch ground, I again crossed the border on my way 
to the Lakes through Carlisle. Bassenthwaite was the 
first lake which met my eye, the peak of Skiddaw appearing 
over the ridge of hills. 

Tuesday, September wth. — I entered the town of 
Keswick. Obtained at once a pair of rooms in a cottage 
at ten shillings and sixpence a week. At seven p.m. had 
my first view of Lake Der ntwater ; and the weather 
being unfavourable for the ascent of Skiddaw, at 
eight a.m. on the 1 3th I made an excursion to Butter- 
mere and Crummock Lakes, going by Lodore and 

Pi ; I 

Ascent of Skiddaiv. 


Borrodale, returning by Newlands; in all thirty-two miles. 
On the following day, 14th, I walked along the Penrith 
road to the Druid's Circle, formed of thirty-eight frag- 
ments of rocks of various magnitudes, the highest about 
seven feet. The circle, about thirty-two paces in 
diameter, having a clump of fifteen fir-trees growing in 
the centre; the whole enclosed in a green pasture. 
Journey there and back between three and four miles. 

At noon of the i6th I started for an ascent of Skiddaw. 
Reached the summit, 3022 feet, at 2.30 p.m., where I 
remained an hour making observations. The shape of 
the peak from one point of view has much the outline of 
the deck of a large ship, swelling out at the sides, and as 
one stands on the imaginary poop at the one end the 
other tapers off to the resemblance of the bows. A 
solitary sheep had extended its wanderings even up here, 
and stood calmly gazing at me on the very summit of 
the peak. The air was piercingly cold from the clouds 
of white fleecy vapour sweeping overhead ; when all of a 
sudden, like the rising of the curtain on the stage, there 
was a break in the surrounding mist, the clouds dispersed, 
unfolding to the view the whole surface of the country 
around, producing a veiy striking and novel effect. On 
descending I reached my lodgings at 5.30 p.m., having 
been five hours on the excursion, and gone over some 
twelve miles. 

On the 1 8th, at ten a.m., I left Keswick for Ambleside, 
which I reached at 4.45 p.m., passing by several of the 
lakes — Thirlmere, Grassmere, &c. The finest view of the 
latter is from Dunmail Raise, a huge gap between the 
mountains. Saw the poet Wordsworth's residence by 
Rydal Water ; and at about dusk I engaged lodgings, 
prettily situated about half a mile from the waterhead 
of Windermere, for a month, at fourteen shillings a 
week, at " Lowfold Cottage," a white villa, with a good 
garden and orchard. I had the drawing-room on the 








first-floor, with the badroom adjoining. This evening I 
had my first sight of Windermare ; I think the finest of 
all the lakes, unless it may be U lies water. 

Having lost some ten days here, from the continued 
unfavourable state of the weather, I at last started upon 
an excursion round the Lake of Windermere, going over 
seme thirty miles in twelve hours, leaving Lowfold 
Cottage on the 29th of September. 

Monday, October ist. — I walked to Kendal and back, 
a distance of thirty miles in all, by different roads. 
Had a fine day, returning by moonlight, having been 
twelve hours on foot. 

Wednesday^ ^^rd. — I made an excursion to Langdale, 
crossing some fields by a path into the Hawkshead Road 
from the back of Lowfold Cottage. Had a fine day 
for the most pleasant excursion I have as yet had, 
embracing a greater amount and variety of mountain, 
lake, and valley scenery, with a constant succession of 
interesting objects; Dungeon Gill Force, flowing between 
the two pikes of Langdale into an extraordinary chasm, 
forming a scene of the wildest description imaginable. 
I returned by the shores of that lovely little lake, Grass- 
mere, as the shades of evening were closing in, having 
walked over a distance of some eighteen miles. 

Thursday, ^th. — Being a fine, clear, bright, sunny day, 
I made a boating excursion on the waters of Lake 
Windermere in a small boat lent me by the owner, a 
neighbouring gentleman. Having cast it off from its 
moorings in the River Rotha, which runs into the lake, 
round which I pulled myself in six hours, landing on all 
the ten islands ; commencing with Belle Isle, the largest, 
consisting of a green sward, beautifully wooded, and the 
whole isle a perfect little paradise. Reached home at 
6.30 p.m. 

Saturday, 6th. — Being a beautiful day I took advan- 
tage of it to make an excursion to Hawksheiad, round 


Ascent of Hclvellyn. 


Esthwaite Water to Coniston Waterhead, making the 
entire circuit of Esthwaite Lake, which is some five 
miles in circumference. Coniston is six miles in length, 
by three-quarters of a mile in breadth, and Coniston Old 
Man majestically towers above all. Returned at six p.m. 
Walked twenty-one miles. 

My ascent of Helvellyn extended to a two days' excur- 
sion, returning by Haweswater. I started from my lodg- 
ings at eight a.m. on Tuesday, the 9th of October, hav- 
ing come to the determination of attempting the ascent of 
the mountain from the direction of Ambleside, along the 
whole ridge to the summit, the customary commencement 
from Wythburn, eight miles on the Keswick turnpike road, 
being both the shortest and the easiest ascent. When I 
had attained to the height of 2950 feet, at Fairfield, the 
steepest part of the ascent began ; and owing to my 
having all at once become enveloped in one of the dense 
mountain mists and fogs, 1 had to steer my way by com- 
pass to the summit, which I was four hours in attaining. 
I was covered with a white hoar-frost, and my fingers 
benumbed. As I came upon the obelisk here, called 
" Helvellyn Man," the hoarse cry of the raven (that bird 
of solitude and mountain heights) was heard, but the 
bird itself was invisible. As the mist suddenly dispersed 
for a brief interval, I found myself on the brink of that 
very narrow ledge called " Striden Edge," rendered 
memorable from the circumstance of a young tourist 
having some years ago lost his life in attempting the 
descent here into Patterdale, being the steepest and most 
precipitous part of the mountain. Findingthe mist again 
about overshadowing the peak, and no time to be lost, 
after taking a compass bearing of the Red Tarn beneath 
me as my guide, I at once began the somewhat perilous 
descent, whilst I could see my way in the direction 
of the Tarn, 600 feet below the summit, bounded on the 
right by Striden Edge, and on the left by Swirrel Edge, 

" mm 





A utobiography. 


\ 1 

, f 

I : I 




terminating in a peak called Catchedecam. On my 
reaching the valley at the bottom, I came into bright 
sunshine, whilst the Peak of Helvellyn towered above 
me, capped in mist, 3070 feet above the sea. 

I now followed a mountain stream, passing a desolate- 
looking village of some half-dozen huts, called Greenside, 
near some lead-mines, with a few straggling mountain- 
ash-trees. At the last of the cottages I asked the distance 
to Patterdale, of two remarkably pretty little rustics, 
sisters ; the elder one really beautiful ; and to be the occu- 
pants of such a hovel, immured, too, in so desolate a spot ! 
Following the borders of the lake, it was dark before 
I reached the " Sun Inn," at Pooley Bridge, at 6.15 p.m., 
where I slept, after an excellent supper in a spacious 
room, and an equally good bedroom adjoining — altogether 
a very comfortable inn. I must have gone over fully thirty 
miles of ground to-day, twelve miles before I left the 
summit of Helvellyn. Ulleswater is next in size to 
Windermere, being nine miles long, and one mile wide. 

Wednesday, 10///. — At seven a.m. I left the " Sun" at 
the foot of the lake, by the Penrith Road, passing through 
Penrith and by King Arthur's Round Table, Lowther 
Castle, Haweswater Foot, and Kentmere, to Troutbeck 
and Ambleside. Haweswater is a fine lake, about three 
miles long by half a mile broad, bounded by lofty moun- 
tains. On reaching the *' Mardale Inn," about a mile 
from the head of the lake, I inquired the way to Kent- 
mere, and was informed that there were three different 
routes to it. One by High Street to the right, now 
enveloped in thick mist ; another by Long Sleddale, by 
the turnpike road, but some two or three miles further 
round ; and the third, but shortest of all, over Nan 
Bield. This latter, however, was described as the most 
laborious and difficult. A pass, lying between High 
Street on the right, and Harten Fell on the left — in the 
distance appearing like a mere gap in the summit of a 

11' I i ' 

Toilsome Journey over Nan Bield and Kentmcre. ^73 

bleak, dismal-looking mountain, over which dark threat- 
ening clouds and mist now hung suspended — directly 
opposite to the inn, and bounding the desolate-looking, 
swampy, boggy valley, through which a "beck" was wind- 
ing its course to the lake below. After well-weighing the 
position in all its bearings, I determined at once on this 
route. The day was fast drawing to a close — an unfre- 
quented and rugged way before me, with not even the 
vestige of a track to follow, in the six miles to Kentmere 
— threatening a dark and stormy, tempestuous night. 

At 3.30 p.m. I commenced this toilsome journey from ' 
Mardale Green. The weather windy and cloudy, with a 
lowering aspect, although the rain had ceased. I first 
struck across the bogs of the desolate-looking valley, in 
which a few cattle were feeding, and over a stone wall 
at the base of Nan Bield, from thence began the ascent, 
which was both steep and rugged, following the course of 
a mountain stream, which descended along a rocky and 
swampy surface, getting my feet most thoroughly drenched 
by the time I reached the summit, from which the 
wildest scene presented itself, desolate beyond descrip- 
tion : a deep and barren peat-clad valley, and a stream 
struggling through it, enclosed on every side like a wall 
of steep, bare, frowning mountains, with not even a 
vestige of bush, tree, or hut to relieve the desert-like 
aspect, made me doubt whether or not I might have 
missed my way ; and I hesitated, but only for a moment, 
before I ventured the descent of the almost perpendicular 
precipice into the wild and dismal-looking hollow beneath 
me, apparently cut off from the rest of the world. The 
descent I found even worse than that of Striden Edge, 
which I accomplished yesterday. I afterwards learnt at 
Kentmere, that the usual route was round the side of 
the hill to the left, which, although a more circuitous 
one, was far less difficult. On reaching the bottom, 
often sinking to my knees, I struck across the valley 


^ !{j| ijlUl 

I'- ill 

I t| 



u i\ 


j4 utobiog raphy. 


r' I? 1 

for a ridge, which I had hoped promised a better state 
of things ; but on gaining the summit of this, a second 
edition of a similar character presented itself. However, 
persevering onwards, I at last came in sight of a pile of 
slate, indicative of the vicinity of some mining opera- 
tions, near a cavern-like opening on the opposite moun- 
tain-side. As the night was fast closing in, I congratu- 
lated myself on the chance of at least obtaining a shelter 
from the elements within its recess, should I be benighted 
in this mountain-girt hollow, unable to find my way out. 
Still, never relaxing my exertions, I followed a cart-track 
from the supposed mines, much wearied, when, on turning 
an angle of the rocks, I fell in with a man with a horse 
and cart, from whom I learnt that I was just on the 
confines of Kentmere ; and following the cart-track for 
about half a mile it led me into a lane with trees and 
bushes, and a small farmhouse : a little beyond this a hut. 
Here I inquired my way of an old man, from whom I 
could elicit but scant information, till a young woman, 
coming out of one of the outhouses, pointed out to me the 
direction in which Troutbeck lay — over another dark 
frowning mountain pass, almost hidden in clouds and 
mist. It was now between five and six p.m., and the 
shades of evening fast setting in. She advised me by no 
means to attempt the crossing of this mountain pass to- 
night, as the way was difificult, and it would be dark 
before I could reach Troutbeck, I next proceeded across 
some fields and a meadow, over hedge and over ditch, 
and across a mountain rill, to the road at the base of a 
hill, where I passed the last cottage of Kentmere ; and 
was directed to continue along the cart-track, up the hill 
at the back, from which I could see the summit of the 
mountain, wrapped in clouds and mist, which I had yet to 
pass over. 

It now wanted only a quarter to six o'clock, with four 
miles yet before me to Troutbeck. With the increasing 

Return by TrotUbeck to Low/old Cottage. 275 

dusk the rain began to fall fast, and continued so to do 
over the summit the whole way, as I followed the 
cart-track. The night had now set in very dark and 
tempestuous, but the worst part of my journey was 
already surmounted, the road winding between two 
stone walls to the " Flow," half a mile from Troutbeck, 
along a considerable descent, passing through two or 
three gates — still nothing but the wall on either side, and 
hills frowning above, with mountains in the distance, to 
which I almost began to think there would be no end. 
About two miles before I reached Troutbeck the lights 
of the village appeared, studding the opposite mountain- 
side, on the right, with what appeared to me, through 
the gloom of night, a valley between. The night, although 
still stormy and windy, began to clear, and the stars made 
their appearance in the intervals between the densely 
black clouds, which drifted rapidly across the blue sky. 
On passing through another and the last gate, the walls 
were succeeded by a railing, when I entered a wooded 
lane, with a light in front of me, which proved to be the 
" Flow," and the residence of a captain in the navy, on 
the left side of the road, half a mile from Troutbeck. It 
was now 6.30 p.m. 

Passing down a dark, shady walk into the road, I 
passed by tiie straggling village of Troutbeck, and on 
reaching the finger-post took the road to the right, which 
two miles further on brought me into the Kendal and 
Ambleside Road, just above " Lowwood Inn." Passing 
by the lake, I reached Lowfold Cottage at eight p.m., 
having been thirteen hours on foot since I left the " Sun 
Inn," at Pooley Bridge, this morning at seven o'clock; 
and right glad was I to find myself once more in my 
snug little room by a fire, seated at table with a soothing 
cup of tea, and hot mutton-chop, and an equally comfort- 
able bed to turn into; which in the earlier part of the 
evening I had almost begun to despair of. The distance 

T 2 


u I 


f!il('''t^!'f : . :!ii 



I had walked over to-day amounted to about thirty-eight 
miles, which, with some twenty-six miles yesterday, made 
a total of sixty-four miles. 

Friday, \2th, — Being a fine, clear, windy day, I went 
to Kendal to receive my quarterly half-pay, by a bill of 
exchange. Walked the fourteen miles there in three 
hours, making twenty- eight miles there and back. 

Saturday , iT^th. — I visited Stock-Gill Force, a waterfall 
150 feet in height, having its rise in the Ambleside 
Hills; falling in two cascades, half a mile from "Salu- 
tation Hotel." 

Wednesday, October ijth, 1838. — I took my leave 
of Lowfold Cottage after breakfast, amid showers, 
threatening a stormy day, and brought my first day's 
journey to a close at the Flockborough " King's Arms 
Inn," where I slept, having passed by Coniston Water, 
Ulverston, and across the Leven Sands, after a journey of 
twenty-eight miles. On the following day I only got 
through nineteen miles, owing to stormy weather. Blow- 
ing a gale of wind, and the rain falling in torrents nearly 
the whole of the way to Lancaster, where I slept at the 
" Royal Oak," in the market-place. On changing my 
wet clothes I found my feet greatly swollen, accompanied 
by a violent headache in the evening. Altogether I have 
rarely experienced a more trying and miserable day's 
journey than this has been ; but was fortunate in finding 
so comfortable an inn. I had to wade over the Lan- 
caster Sands. 

Continued my journey through Preston, Bolton, Man- 
chester, and other towns to Derbyshire ; passing through 
Castleton and the wild and picturesque romantic pass of 
the Windgates, a precipitous cleft in the mountain-side, 
and the ruins of Peveril Castle, the scene of Sir Walter 
Scott's charming tale, " Peveril of the Peak." From this 
my course lay by Buxton, Bakewell, Chatsworth, Mat- 
lock, and Ashbourne. From the latter place I made an 

End of Pedestrian Tours. 


excursion to Dovedale, along the banks of the river Dove, 
across which three kingfishers (litted like emeralds, as their 
glossy green plumage reflected the sun's rays. At the 
village of Thorpe I had a lunch of bread and fresh butter, 
with a pint of home-brewed ale, handed me by the land- 
lady's little daughter, the prettiest girl, with her raven 
locks, I have seen throughout my tour. 

Passed through Derby, Leicester, Northampton, St. 
Alban's, Barnet, and Highgate, to London. Darkness 
overtook me in passing over Highgate Hill, Camden 
Town, Tottenham Court Road, to St. Martin's Lane, to 
my old lodgings, No. 2, Northumberland Court, which I 
reached at eight p.m. On my sixteenth and last day's 
journey I had walked forty-four miles. The total 
number of miles walked over in my tour were : — 

From London to Ambleside . .557 

,, Ambleside to London . . ■^t^'j 

Branch excursions . . 306 


My journey from Ambleside was performed in about a 
fortnight, having returned on Thursday, the ist of 
November; and the whole tour occupied a little over 
three months. And now, in the aggregate, I find that 
during the preceding four years my pedestrian wander- 
ings have extended over some 3440 miles, all on foot. 




A utobiography. 

' ' 


Appointed to the Erebus for t'le Antarctic Expedition — The Queen's 
Levte — Final arrangements — Departure. 

Monday^ March iiih, 1839. — The Antarctic Expedition 
may now be considered fairly decided upon. Having 
this evening attended the Geographical Society's meeting, 
Mr. Greenough in the chair, a portrait of Weddell, a 
halt pay master in the navy, who had attained the 
highest southern latitude some years ago, was presented 
to the Society by one of its most distinguished fellows, 
Mr. John Brown, accompanied by a letter urging the 
Society to lend its aid in sending out an expedition, when 
Sir Roderick Murchison rose and said he believed the 
Government had settled that an expedition should pro- 
ceed immediately to the Antarctic Seas, under the com- 
mand of Captain James Clark Ross, through the appli- 
cation of the Marqviis of Northampton. 

On Wednesday, the loth of April, at eight p.m., I 
received my appointment to H.M.S, Terror, dated the 
same day ; and on the 15th I went down to Chatham to 
join her. Took up my quarters at the " Sun Tavern," 
and on the following day took up my commission at the 
dockyard, and reported myself to Captain Clavell, the 
superintendent of the dockyard. Went on board the 
Terror and Erebus, both in dock. On the 23rd met 
Captain Ross at the " Sun," when he told me I was to 
have charge of the zoological department, and Joseph 

i> 1 ri. 


Appointment to the " Erebus " Antarctic Expedition. 279 

U I 

Hooker, the assistant-surgeon, a son of Sir William 
Hooker, to have the botanical. We were hulked on board 
the Renard, an old packet brig. On the 25th, meeting 
Captain Ross in the dockyard, I took the opportunity of 
calling his attention to the geology. 

Wednesday, May 1st. — I went to Lucas's naval and 
military outfitting warehouse, and ordered a glass, &c. A 
fine, bright, sunny, warm day. On Saturday, the nth, 
the Erebns being ready for hoisting the pennant, we were 
turned over from the Terror to her, and Captain Crozier 
with his officers to the latter ship ; and I took up my 
appointment to the Erebns at the dockyard. Saw our 
old North Polar boats in the boat-house. 

On the 17th we shifted over to the Tartar hulk lying 
off the dockyard. On the 2 ist the first lieutenant showed 
me a memorandum from Captain Ross to the secretary 
of the Admiralty, in reference to the appointment of a 
naturalist, in which he stated that he did not consider the 
appointment of a special naturalist to the expedition at all 
necessary, as the surgeon of the Erebus had devoted his 
time and attention for many years past both to the study of 
zoology and geology, and specially qualifying himself for 
the position, whilst Dr. Hooker was only known as a 
botanist ; and that a draughtsman specially appointed 
would be far more desirable; — and this day Dr. Hooker 
joined us as assistant-surgeon and botanist. On the 27th, 
Captain Crozier, dining with us, told me tha*" the ap- 
plication for the appointment of a special naturalist was 
smashed ; nor should I here have thought it worth while 
alluding in any way to these bygone events, which in no 
way affected the friendly feeling existing between Dr. 
Hooker and myself throughout the long and somewhat 
trying voyage we were together, had not I felt, on our 
return to England, that the same influence stood in the 
way of my being permitted any share in bringing out the 
publication of the collections of natural history which I 

' r 

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i- 1 .« 




y ' 


hM '^ 

,!i:' J. 





to ! • *i 


p f 'i: 















had made with so much toil and labour, not altogether free 
of personal expense to myself, to say nothing of the risks 
frequently incurred. 

On the 30th I v/as launched in ihe Fanfome, a beautiful 
new sixteen-gun brig. There were a great number of 
ladies present, and amongst them the belle of the place, 
the daughter of our outfitter, the pretty young Jewess, 
Annie Lucas. On the following day I went to town. 

yzDie \st. — Called on Sir Astley Cooper, and on 
Professor Owen. ' • 

Wednesday, 26///. — I attended the Queen's lev(^e, for 
Avhich I had purchased a new sword, knot, belt, and 
cocked hat, and obtained an introduction from Sir John 
Pechell. It was a showery day ; the levcc hour two 
p.m. ; I was half an hour late. Notwithstanding, I got 
in with the first batch, and it being my first ievde I knelt 
and kissed her Majesty's hand. Left about three p.m. : a 
dense crowd. On returning to my lodgings to sleep, I 
found a packet of letters awaiting me from Captain Ross. 
containin4 introductions to Professor Owen, Mr. Lons- 
dale, of the Geological Society, and an invitation from 
Dr. F'itton, the geologist, to spend two days with him at 
his house in Norwood ; for which I started on Saturday, 
the 29th. In looking over the old folio edition of 
" Cook's Voyages," Dr. Fitton more especially called my 
attention to Kerguelen's Land, an island he appeared to 
take much interest in, and wished me to very carefully 
explore, presenting me with his old and favourite geo- 
logical hammer, cutting an inscription on it with his knife, 
and gave me also a small volume of his geological survey 
of Hastings, during which he had used this hammer in 
his examination of the rocks. 

After my visit, on the 2nd of July, I attendee! 
the Geological Council of the Royal Society, at two 
p.m., with Captain Ross, Dr. iMtton (president). Dr. 
Buckland, Mr. Lon.sdale, ?nd other fellows present. 

1 , 


Departure from Chatham. 


Several papers were read. Dr. Buckland gave me his 
card, and a note of introduction to Mr. Fox Talbot, the 
inventor of the photogenic drawings, &c. The meeting 
broke up about 3.30 p.m. On the f( llowing day I called on 
Mr. Talbot, at No. 31, Sackville .'•itrect, and had about an 
hour's conversation with him respecting his new process, 
of which he presented me with a specimen, and an 
invitation to spend a day or two with him at his country 
house, where he promised to give me a practical lesson 
on the whole process. He also showed me a representa- 
tion of his house, which occupied him for four hours in 
finishing. ^ 

Friday, August 32;'^'. — Dr. Andrew Smith, from Fort 
Pitt, came on board to see me ; and whilst showing him 
round the ship. Captain Ross, coming on board at the 
time, I introduced them to each other. On the following 
morning I breakfasted with Dr. Smith, and he showed 
me round Fort Pitt, its library and museum. 

September 2nd. — Earl Minto and the Lords of the Ad- 
miralty came on board and mustered both ship's com- 
panies. On the 13th, when in town, I met Sir Edward 
Parry in Regent Street, when he took my arm, and 
walked as far as Argyle Place with me, offering me his 
hearty congratulations and wishes for the success of the 
voyage I was about making. 

Thursday, igth. — At nine a.m. we cast off from the 
hulk and made sail down the river amidst heavy rain, 
and secured the ship opposite the church of GilHngham, 
near to the Terror. 

September 24///. — Cables on board, and to sail to- 
morrow, so I went on shore to take mv last leave of 
Chatham, and at midnight went on board from Gillinghain 
Reach. On the following day made sail down the river 
and anchored off the Mouse near the Nore, for the 
night. Captain Ross's father and mother having come 
down the river with us, 1 asked him and thena to join 




)' 11 

'i I. ■'! 


'■'■', 11 

K ,1. 


\ . 

■;! |. 



A tdobiography. 

us at dinner in the gun-room at 3.30 p.m., where they 
would meet Beverley, our old Arctic shipmate, who had 
been my guest down the river. Thirteen of us sat down 
to dinner in our small mess-room, myself taking the head 
of the table. Just after dusk the Terror came to an 
anchor astern of us. The next day we again got under 
weigh and anchored in Margate Roads, from which I 
could see very plainly from the deck my old station, 
Epple Bay Watch-house. We were detained here by 
westerly winds until Monday, 30th, when the wind 
shifting round to the eastward, we took our final de- 
parture at seven p.m. 





It! -4 




On half-pay again, 1843 — Applications for promotion — Fellow of Royal 
College of Surgeons— Appointed to the yacht William and Mary. 

Saturday, September 2T,rd, 1843. — The Erebus, after an 

absence of four years from England (my journal for 

which period is recorded elsewhere), was paid off, and I 

left her hulk, the Salsette, for town, and went to my old 

lodgings at No. 2, Northumberland Court. And on the 

26th of October I left town by coach for Plymouth, and 

found my mother and sisters had during my absence 

removed from Stoke to Densham Terrace, Plymouth. 

December yth. — I sent in a memorial to the Admiralty, 
through Sir Edward Parry, asking for my promotion to 
the deputy-inspectorship; and on the 13th received an 
answer that their lordships could not comply with my 

As the metropolis was now likely to become my home 
for some time to come, I went to Dover on the 20th to 
look for a suitable cottage for my mother and sisters, so 
as to have them nearer to me than the West of England, 
and yet on the sea-shore, to which they had been all 
their lives accustomed. On the following day I left 
Dover for Ramsgatc ; dined with my old friend there. 
Lieutenant Rogier, and the next morning went on to 
Margate. Embarked there in i\\e. Red Rover for London. 
On the 23rd I went oy train to Reading, and returned to 
town the same evening. 







i; i 

! '.i 



, a 






b ■ S 

!: i 






^ utobiography. 

yannary 29//^, 1844. — A vacancy having taken place 
in the Royal Sovereign yacht at Pembroke, I applied for 
it, but was unsuccessful, though amongst the numerous 
candidates I stood second for it. The fortunate candidate 
obtained the appointment entirely through being my 
senior on the list. 

March I'jt/i. — I embarked in the Sirhis steamer 
for Plymouth, anchoring the following day in the Sound 
after dark, and I did not reach Densham Terrace till 
1 o. 30 p.m. Found th?t my poor old spaniel Hecla, whom 
we had had for some seventeen years, and who was very 
infirm from age when I was last here, died at one p.m. 
yesterday. On Thursday, 21st, I enclosed the faithful 
old dog's remains in a half- barrel, and inscribing on the 
lid his name, age, and date of his death, buried him in 
the garden at the back of the house, left corner. 

On the 1 2th of June I met Sir John Franklin at the 
Geological Society's meeting, and spoke to him, con- 
gratulating him on his return from Tasmania. 

January ^jth, 1845. — I met my old friend and brother 
officer. Sir John Hammett, at the Admiralty, where he 
had been seeing Lord Haddington, to thank him for his 
promotion to the rank of deputy-inspector general. I 
afterv rds called on Captain Ross at^^Elliott Plao'j, 
Plackiicath, where he introduced me to his wife, having 
married since the return of the expedition. Old Wall, 
our old cook in the Erebus, opened the door to 

On the 24th, Captain Hamilton succeeded Sir John 
Barrow as secretary to the Admiralty. 

Saturday, Fcbi'Jtary \st. — When at the college library 
I first became introduced to my late lamented friend 
Dr. Daniell, who had distinguished himself as an African 
traveller. . . • . . 

March \Wt.~-\ met Captain Crozier in the Strand, 
from whom I learnt that Fawcett, one of my boat'.s crew 

First Intervieiv with Lord Hadditwton. 



at Kerguelen's Land, and old Wall of the Erebus, were 
both going out with Sir John F"ranklin. 

On April 7th I had my first interview at the Admiralty 
with Lord Haddington. He received me very kindly, and 
listened attentively to my somewhat lengthy statement of 
my services ; but, at the same time, intimating to me the 
difficulty in the way of promotion in my class, from the 
promotion to the deputy-inspectorship being considered 
as great a step as the promotion of a captain to flag 
rank, in a list kept so small and select. 

April 22nd. — Dr. King, who has distinguished him- 
self in Arctic discovery and in the search for Franklin 
since, was introduced to me by Dr. Daniell, at the office 
of the Statistical Society, in Waterloo Place ; both now 
numbered with the dead. On the following day, at 
eight p.m., I accompanied Dr. Daniell to the Ethno- 
logical Society's meeting, in Sackville Street, where Dr. 
Richard King, as the honorary secretary, read a paper 
to the Society, and Dr. Wolffij, the distinguished traveller 
to Bokhara, gave a long account of his travels. Dr. 
Hodgkin, the Quaker physician and geographer, was 
also present, to whom Dr. Daniell and myself were both 
introduced by Dr. King. Admiral Sir Charles Malcolm 
was in the chair. 

y-uly ']th. — Calling on Dr. Lindsay, at No. 3, Trinity 
Court, he showed me a recent Admiralty regulation, re- 
quiring of all candidates for the inspectorial ranks a 
certificate of having gone through a course of dissections 
and surgical operations, subsequent to the date before 
they could be promoted, and he, himself, although already 
a deputy-inspector, was complying with the order, at the 
Westminster Hospital, under Professor Hunter, to whom 
he introduced me ; and so soon as a subject was obtained 
I followed his example ; when, by unremitting exer- 
tions in the dissecting-room, in less than a week I 
obtained my certificate, accompanied by a very flattering 


~ ^ 


, : i^:f! 

1 ^ -• 


',! ■ :. 1 

fi ' .! 


1 ' * 



Aidobio}^raphy , 

WW vl 

V '-'M 

■i'- ,^ 'ill 


letter, which I at once transmitted to the Admiralty in 
time to join the yacht. 

I received my appointment to the William and Mary 
yacht on September ist, and was told that there were 
no less than fifty candidates for her. 

September 8///. — I went to Woolwich, and took up my 
commission in the dockyard. Met the surgeon, Mr. 
John Edwards, who had also been one of Parry's fol- 
lowers, and whom I now superseded in the yacht, and 
we held a survey on the medical stores, when I learnt 
from him that \s. bd, a day was allowed in lieu of 
quarters, and I at once engaged lodgings at No. 2, Wood- 
land Terra,ce, and Edwards went to No. 11, Craven 
Street, which I had recommended to him. 

October yd. — I reported myself to the superintendent 
of the dockyard. Sir Francis Collier, he having been 
absent on leave when I first joined. 

Tuesday, 21st. — Being the anniversary of the battle of 
Trafalgar, Dr. Suther, the surgeon of the dockyard, as 
one of the survivors, gave a dinner on the occasion, at 
which I was present, and sat next to another old brother 
officer, who had been in the Royal Sovereign in the 
action. Dr. John Clark, and at the end of the war had 
his name struck off the list for refusing to serve when 
called upon ; and had been in practice at Weldon, in 
Northamptonshire, in the same house, for the last thirty 
years. He took from his pocket and showed me his 
appointment to the Royal Sovereign, dated October 
14th, a week before the batde, and bearing Nelson's 

Wednesday, March i\th, 1846. — At two p.m. I at- 
tended Lord Haddington's lev^e at the Admiralty. He 
received me very graciously, advancing from his seat to 
the middle of the room to meet me, shaking hands, and 
pointing to a seat opposite his own, requesting me to be 
seated. He asked me many questions about the An- 

Excursion round the Isle of Wight. 


tarctic regions, and on my asking him for my promotion 
to the deputy-inspectorship, he appeared to be quite un- 
acquainted with the nature of the new inspectorial ranks 
and the duties of the yacht, all of which I had to explain 
to him. His manner was both attentive and courteous, 
ending by assuring me that I might rely upon his 
bearing in mind all I had said. The interview lasted 
about ten minutes. 

On the 27th I went to Giilott's, my tailor's, and brought 
down with me the new uniform : all classes now to wear 
two epaulettes. 

JtUy \Wi. — Captain Houston Stewart, the newly- 
appointed superintendent of the yard, joined. I saw 
him in his office about v\v 1, when he shook hands with 
me, and asked me to be seated. 

September 1st. — I left by train for Chichester, and 
from thence to Portsmouth by the coach, and slept at 
the " Star and Garter," Point. On the 3rd, after having 
had a bathe in the sea, I left the Victoria Pier by a steamer, 
on an excursion round the Isle of Wight ; had delightful 
weather, just eight hours in the circumnavigation of the 
island, returning to Victoria Pier at five p.m. Bonchurch 
and Shanklin appeared to be the most beautiful spots. 
On the 5th I crossed over to Ryde and made a tour of 
the island, making the " Marine Hotel," Ventnor, my 
headquarters. I rambled about the interior of the island, 
by Appuldecombe, Arreton, Newport, &c., returning 
from Cowes to Portsmouth on the nth, and slept in my 
old room, No. 30, at the " Star and Garter." On the 
following day I sought an interview with Commander 
Crispin, of the royal yacht, Victoria and A Ibcrt — who had 
been a shipmate of mine in the Icarus, on her passage 
home to England from the West Indies, many years 
ago — to ask him about a vacancy expected soon to take 
place in the Queen's yacht. I met him coming out 
of the commissioner's office in the dockyard ; unfortu- 


I •! 




nately he was pressed for time, statin}^' that a sip;^nal was 
made for him, and in the hurry I could only exchanrje a 
few words with him, when he told me no rumour had 
reached him of any contemplated chan<jc, and that great 
interest would be made for the appointment of surgeon 
of the yacht ; nor was he aware whether Lord Adolphus 
Fitzclarence had any one in view himself. Disappointed 
in getting any information with reference to an appoint- 
ment I was anxious of becoming a candidate for, I re- 
turned in the afternoon by train from Gosport to town, 
and slept at the " Ship Hotel," Charing Cross ; returning 
to Woolwich on the following day, when I found a letter 
dated October 5th, " Globe Hotel," Portsmouth, on my 
supper tray, from my young friend Gregson, bidding me 
adieu on his return to Tasmania in the Windervicre. 

On Wednesday, the 7th of September, received a 
communication from Sir James Ross, asking me to con- 
tribute a Geological Appendix to his narrative of the 
Antarctic Voyage, which I answered at once. Meeting 
Captain Houston Stewart, coming out of his office, who 
very cordially shook me by the hand, I stated to him 
that I was desirous of commencing my leave of absence 
to-morrow, when he said he also intended going on leave 
the same day. Having various things in town to attend 
to, I passed my fortnight's leave there. On my return 
to my duties, on the 23rd, I wrote to Sir James Ross, and 
on the 29th I received a packet from him containing my 
notes on the geology of Tasmania, with a note, and the 
following day I began correcting them for the press. 
Finished them on the 4th of November, having employed 
my evenings after the duties of the dockyard were over 
about them — often till midnight. I waited on Sir Francis 
Collier, who had returned to his dockyard duties, last 


November \\th. — The yacht this morning sported the 
blue flag at the mizzen. Sir Francis having hoisted his 


Sir Gordon Drcmcr succeeds Sir Francis Collier here. 289 

flag at daylight, on his promotion to the rank of rear- 
admiral. I went on board the yacht. Saw the appoint- 
ment of Sir Edward I'arry as superintendent of Haslar 
Hospital, and Sir Gordon Bremer is to succeed Sir 
Francis Collier here ; Captain Houston Stewart having 
been appointed controller of the coastguard. 

December /[t/i. — At work about my Antarctic Geological 
Sketch, which I finished on the evening of the i ith. 










t Ui 12.0 

1 129 








(716) •72-4903 




Her iViajesty's Yacht William and Mary at Woolwich. 


Transferred to the Fisguard {x\gsXc — Unfair treatment by the Director- 
general — Sir Gordon Bremer — Am superseded. 

On the 29th of March, 1847, wrote to Sir James Ross, 
and returned him all the revised sheets for the appendix 
of his book. 

May 19///. — Meeting Sir Gordon Bremer on hoard 
the river steamer as I was going up to town to-day, he 
having got into conversation with me, I took the oppor- 
tunity to mention to him that it was my intention to offer 
my services to the Admiralty to go in search of Sir 
John P'ranklin, when he kindly offered to forward my 

Monday, y une 2\st. — I received a presentation copy 
of our Antarctic Voyage from Sir James Ross, and on 
Monday, the 9th of August, I went to the Admiralty 
and received back my private journals and sketches of 


the Director- 

Transf erred from the Yacht to the** Fis^uard'^ Fnt;ate. 291 

the Antarctic Expedition from Captain Miles, who had 
charge of the box containing them and others, and which 
had only just arrived from the " Ship Hotel," where they 
had been lying ever since the return of the expedition. 
The box had not been opened, and he expressly unpacked 
it to give me mine. 

Friday, August 13M. — Dr. Fitton, with his sons and 
daughters, and a party of his friends, came down to 
Woolwich at noon. The whole party, consisting of Dr. 
Fitton, his sons and daughter?, Sir James Fellows and 
his daughter, Professor Studer, a Swiss geologist, &c., 
lunched in the little room at my lodgings. After 
we had lunched, between two and three p.m., we 
went to the dockyard about 3.30 p.m., and having 
made the tour of it, took the young ladies on board 
the Royal Albert, of 120 guns, building in the shed. 
They being very anxious to explore the interior of 
so large a ship, a great novelty to them, I handed the 
two eldest Miss Fittons, and their cousin, Miss F'ellows, 
down the hold ; no small effort for them in a ship whose 
tonnage was 3393 tons. We passed near the yacht, 
visiting the new surgery and new dock, finishing with 
the boathouse, containing Sir John Ross's old boat ; and 
at 5.45 p.m. saw them all off from Charlton Pier by the 
steamboat, my sister and myself returning home to tea ; 
and on the 20th I saw her off from the London Bridge 
terminus to Dover. 

October \^th. — On going to the office this morning I 
found that I was transferred from the Yacht to the 
Fisguard frigate. I hesitated about taking up this 
appointment, for it would place me in the ordinary 
routine of a three years' appointment, and I had held the 
yacht as a life appointment ; at least it had hitherto been 
always so considered, and I was distinctly told in the 
office when I first joined her that it was for life. I 
therefore memorialized the Admiralty for promotion to 

u 2 




j4 utohiof^raphy. 


the deputy-inspectorship, on the yacht being paid off, in 
compensation, and on my consulting Sir Gordon Bremer 
about it he offered to present my application, assuring 
me that he had considered my promotion so certain that 
he had already promised the vacancy occasioned by my 
promotion to Captain Duntze, the late captain of the 
Fisguard, for his surgeon, Dr. T. Russell Dunn. He 
advised me to go at once to the Admiralty and see 
Admiral Prescott, the medical lord, about it; which I 
did, and strongly remonstrated against such treatment of 
just claims. But all the satisfaction I could obtain was 
that it was Lord Auckland's act, and that he, i.e. 
Admiral Prescott, had no power or influence in the 
matter. Sir Gordon Bremer now gave me a note to 
Captain Eden, the first lord's private secretary, in 
order to obtain for me an interview with Lord Auckland 
himself. On presenting this I was told by Captain Eden 
that Thursday was the only day on which his lordship 
saw officers, adding that the director-general denied the 
permanency of the appointment, and further that I was 
only turned over to the Fisguard to complete the 
remainder of the three years not completed in the 
yacht. So that it appears Lord Auckland leaves 
everything in the hands of the director-general, and in 
such hands as his the grossest injustice is perpetrated 
and perpetuated. 

On Thursday, the 28th, by putting *on great pressure, 
I managed to obtain an interview with his lordship, use- 
less, as I foresaw it would prove, prejudiced as he was by 
the head of our ill-managed department. On my entering 
the room his lordship coldly pointed to the chair opposite 
to him, to be seated, when I stated in as brief a way as 
possible my present position ; that I had held the yacht 
as a life appointment, consequently my transfer to the 
frigate to complete time was a loss to me of my position 
in the service, and the only other equivalent appointment 

Ask for charge of an Expedition in search of Franklin. 293 

was the Queen's yacht ; therefore I had been led to 
hope that with my special services, and peculiar position, 
promotion to inspectorial rank would have been conferred 
upon me on my ceasing to hold a life apppintment ; 
adding that I had some months ago volunteered to con- 
duct a party to clear up Sir John Franklin's fate, and was 
still as ready as ever to go. But I never before had an 
interview with a more reserved, colder, or more repulsive 
official. His lordship went on with the writing before 
him, without even raising his eyes from the paper once 
whilst I was addressing him, and on my rising to go, his 
only reply was that he did not consider I had lost by the 

The good old commodore having failed in his well- 
disposed efforts to serve me, now strongly advised me to 
take up, as a final alternative, the appointment, rather 
than by futile opposition risk injuring my future claims on 
the service and prospects. All my friends being of the 
same opinion, the prudence of which was but too obvious 
to myself, I at last took up my commission, lying at the 
dockyard office. 

I now resolved to make every effort in my power to 
get charge of an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin 
and my old ships, the Erebus and Terror. Accordingly, 
on the I St of December I made a second offer of my 
services in a letter, volunteering for any exploring 
expeditions that might be sent out ; taking my letter to 
Sir Gordon Bremer for his approval, and to forward to 
the Admiralty for me. 

Dr. Richard King having got up some public meetings 
in furtherance of the search for Franhlin, I attended one 
at the Western Institute, Leicester Square, at eight p.m., 
at which he lectured to an audience of about 300 ladies 
and gentlemen. 

January ^th, 1848. — I accompanied Dr. King to the 
Russell Institution, where, at eight p.m., he gave another 



A uUbiography. 

Arctic lecture ; and again, on the 27th of April, at Crosby 
Hall, in Bishopsgate Street. 

Thursday^ May 2%th, — Between nine and ten p.m. ! 
went to a ball at Dr. Fitton's, in Harley Street, to which 
about I GO guests were invited. Dr. F"itton there intro- 
duced me to the great mathematician. Dr. Babbage. I 
left at 1. 1 5 a.m. and walked the whole of the way home 
to Woolwich, some eleven miles. A beautiful night, or 
rather morning, with a clear blue sky. I heard the 
cuckoo, the lark, and the nightingale singing, reaching 
my lodgings at 3.45 a.m. 

August 22nd. — Lady Bremer and her friend Miss 
Webber, the bishop's daughter, came on board the 
Fisguardy to whom I was introduced by Sir Gordon. 

At her ladyship's ball, supper was laid on a table on 
the main deck, decorated with transparent lanterns and 
laurels ; the Fisgttard being entered by means of a 
floating-bridge from the dockyard. There were from 
seventy to eighty guests, and I left about eleven p.m. 

September 2nd. — Whilst on board the Fisguard, I was 
sent for by Sir Gordon, for the purpose of consulting me 
about the complaint (diabetes) he was labouring under. 
Having suffered much for the last six weeks he was getting 
alarmed, and wished me to prescribe a course of medicine 
and diet for him, at the same time requesting me to 
write him a note, recommending a change of air, which 
he could show to Admiral Dundas on asking for leave of 
absence. On my suggesting to him that it would be a 
breach of etiquette on my part to do so, whew *he surgeon 
of the dockyard was, by the rules of the service, his 
legitimate medical attendant, he replied that was 
his affair, and he felt himself at liberty to place himself 
in the hands of any one in whom he had the most 
confidence ; therefore, considering it in the light of an 
order, I wrote him out the desired note. 

On Sunday, the loth, after divisions on board, the 

Sir Gordon Bremer becomes my Patient . 295 

commodore said he wished to see me in his cabin on the 
subject of his health. On entering he requested me to 
take a seat, and then went on to say that he had already 
in the last few days felt himself better from the change I 
had made in his diet, together with the course of medicine 
I had placed him under; at the same time telling me he 
was about paying a visit to Tunbridge Wells, and I then 
strongly recommended him to avail himself of so favour- 
able an opportunity for taking the chalybeate waters. 
On the 1 2th Sir Gordon invited me to dine with him in 
the evening. On the 15th, calling at the commodore's 
house to see him, I met Lady Bremer, from whom I 
learnt that Sir Gordon had obtained six weeks' leave. 
She asked me into the drawing-room, and had a long 
conversion with me as to his health. On my return on 
board afterwards, I s^w him, when he expressed himself 
very gratified with the treatment under which I had 
placed him, and said that it had met with the entire 
approbation of Dr. Drummond, of the Royal Marine 
Hospital, who had seen him as an old friend. On 
Sunday, the 17th, I saw the commodore at his house ; 
Lady Bremer and her friend, Miss Webber, were in the 
library with him. Sir Gordon, requesting me to take a 
seat by the fire, thanked me warmly for my attention to 
his case, and, shaking hands, said he left to-morrow ; and 
Lady Bremer promised to write to me whilst away and 
report progress ; and on Monday, October 9th, I received 
a communication from her ladyship and Sir Gordon, 
giving a very satisfactory account of his progress and the 
benefit he had derived from the mineral waters. 

November ^rd. — Sir Gordon having returned from 
leave last night, I saw him to-day on the subject of his 
health and retirement from his public duties, as affording 
him the best chance of recovering his health. The 
Tunbridge waters he spoke of in the highest terms, and 
thanking me in a very complimentary manner. On the 




9th I met him in the dockyard after his interview with 
Dr. Bright, which I had suggested to him before he left, 
when he told me that the doctor advised him to continue 
the course of treatment from which he had derived so 
much benefit, and that he did not know anything further 
he could suggest to him, unless it was to add bottled stout 
to his diet. 

Friday ^ i Tth. — Yesterday the commodore was super- 
seded by Captain Eden, and he will leave Woolwich to- 
morrow. I called at his house to take leave of him. 
Requesting me to take a chair by the fire he entered into 
some details in reference to his state of health, again 
warmly thanking me for my attention, and cordially 
shaking me by the hand and accompanying me across 
the yard to the office steps. We parted, as the sequel 
will show, for the last time. 

December 25/^, Christmas Day. — I dined with my 
friend Fowler, who was flag-lieutenant to the late com- 
modore. Sir Gordon Bremer, and at his table met an old 
shipmate of his, Commander Hall, now Admiral Sir 
William King Hall, and spent a very pleasant Christmas 
evening, leaving at eleven p.m. 

Sunday, ^ist. — Having been superseded, I attended 
divisions on board for the last time to-day in cocked 
hat and sword, and gave up charge to my successor. 
Commodore Eden, the new superintendent, mustered the 
ship's company. 



The Auckland Whaling Company — My plans for a Franklin Search 
expedition — Lady Franklin's approval — A holiday on the con- 

T/mrsday; yannary ^t/i, 1849. — Having received an in- 
troduction to the Enderbys, ship-owners, of No. 13, Great 
St. Helen's, Bishopsgate Street, I called on them, and 
met with a cordial reception. Mr. Charles Enderby, who 
is going out to the Auckland Islands to establish a fishery 
there, had a long conversation with me on these islands, 
asking me if I had any drawings of them, which I 
promised to furnish him with. He gave me an invitation 
to dinner to meet some friends interested in the subject. 
On the loth, after my return from town late in the 
evening, I found Mr. George Enderby awaiting my 
return at my lodgings, to ask me to come on Wednesday 
next to their dinner, and at six p.m. of the 1 7th eight of 
us sat down, including the two brothers, at the octagon 
table in an octagon-shaped room. I sat next to Colonel 
Colquhoun, having Professor Airy, the Astronomer- 
Royal, opposite to me. Mr. Charles Enderby showed 
us a New Zealand Tui, or parson-bird, in a glass case, 
which he had kept alive in England for two years. He 
also showed us a bedstead of King Henry the Eighth 
and Anne of Cleves in a fine state of preservation, 
bearing the date of 1539 on an inscription at its head, 
curiously carved and inlaid throughout in the Old English 
style. It had been for a century in the possession of 






Enderby's family, having belonged to his grandfather. I 
left at ten p.m. in company with Professor Airy, whose 
way home lay in the same direction as my own. The 
night was fine and starlight. We parted company on the 
Greenwich Road, I taking the lower road to Woolwich, 
reaching my lodgings at 10.45 P*"^* 

February \^th. — I took my sketch of the Auckland 
Islands, which I had made for Charles Enderby, to their 
office Great St. Helen's. He seemed much pleased with 
it, and said it gave him the best idea of the islands he 
had yet seen, and that he should get it engraved for his 
account of the islands. On the 22nd, about eight p.m., 
when in Peckham, and returning over Blackheath to 
Woolwich, I saw the finest display of the aurora I ever 
witnessed in this country. The night was bright starlight, 
with neither moon nor cloud to lessen the effect. A deep 
crimson blush overspread the horizon to an altitude of 
about 45° westward of the " Great Bear ;" from this, 
flickering tapering rays of a beautiful pale primrose 
radiated upwards, changing their position every moment. 
This brilliant display lasted for about ten minutes, leav- 
ing for some time afterwards a pink hue in that portion 
of the horizon. 

On Saturday, the 24th, I removed from Woodland 
Terrace, to my old lodgings. No. 11, Craven Street, 

On Tuesday, the 27th, I attended the levie of the 
First Lord of the Admiralty. My name was called about 
2.20 p.m., and I remained about six minutes. Sir Francis 
Baring is a stout, portly, jolly-looking, red-faced man, 
having an agreeable, mild expression of countenance. 
He rose from his seat on my entrance, shook hands, and 
requested me to be seated in an armchair, opposite to 
him. Having at once told him that my object was pro- 
motion, briefly stating my claims in the Polar Expeditions, 
and in which I had saved the Government the expense 

lixamincd before the Auck/aiui Island Company. 299 

of a naturalist and {geologist, and had volunteered to go 
in search of Sir John Franklin, in command of a party. 
He replied that only a provision-ship would be sent out, 
and asked me if I did not think once going out enough. 
I told him that I was the only officer left unpromoted 
in the Antarctic Expedition ; and rising to go, he again 
shook hands, and asked me for my card, which he said he 
would keep. 

On Friday, March the 23rd, at three p.m., I called at 
Enderby's ofifice, and accompanied Charles Enderby to 
the Auckland Whaling Companies' Office, in Cornhill, 
where I was introduced to several gentlemen associated 
in the undertaking, and underwent a long examination, 
before the president and directors, as to the various 
capabilities of the Auckland Islands for a settlement ; 
such as the character of the vegetation, soil, rocks, 
grasses, building materials, rise and fall of tide, depth of 
water, best parts for grazing cattle and sheep, and the 
number of wild pigs already there. Having replied to 
all these questions, I pointed out the north side of Laurie 
Harbour as the most promising site for a settlement. I 
was seated at the table on Enderby's left, with the pre- 
sident, an old gentleman whom I had met at Charles 
Enderby's dinner-table, opposite to me, in the centre of 
the other side of the table. I left at four p.m. 

On the evening of the 26th, I paid Professor Queckett 
a visit at No. 1 5, Dorchester Place, Dorchester Square, 
where I met Charles Enderby. The whole evening was 
occupied with the microscope, and Enderby and myself 
left together. 

Monday^ April 2nd. — At two p.m. I called on Lady 
Franklin, at No. 4, Spring Gardens, to offer her whatever 
assistance I was able in the search for her lost husband. 
Her niece, Miss Cracroft, and Twrs. Leaves — Sir Edward 
Sabine's mother-in-law — were with her ladyship in the 
drawing-room. Lady Franklin said she had not for- 


I i 



A utobiography. 


gotten me, although some eight years had elapsed since 
we last met in Tasmania. She entered into a long con- 
versation about the various plans of search for the lost 
ships, for nearly two hours. She told me that when she 
was at the Admiralty she had named me as well .suited 
for the charge of any searching-party that might be sent 
out ; and seemed very desirous that the Wellington 
Channel should be thoroughly searched, as Sir John 
Franklin had before his departure said he would at- 
tempt that channel. She also wished me to see Admiral 
Beaufort, the hydrographer, on the subject of my plan 
for the exploration of Jones' Sound. 

Monday, ^th. — In compliance with Lady Franklin's 
earnest wishes, I had an interview with Sir Edward 
Sabine, at his residence on Shooter's Mill ; I showed him 
my plan of search, which he read, and highly approved of. 
Lunch was placed upon the table for me, in which Lady 
Sabine's mother joined me. On leaving, Sir Edward 
presented me with a copy of Lady Sabine's translation 
of Humboldt's " Cosmos," and accompanying me to the 
door, said he was very happy in making my acquaintance, 
although I had been long well known to him by name. 
On the following day I called on Lady Franklin with 
my plan ; met Lady Sabine there, who said she regretted 
not having seen me yesterday when I called. 

Wednesday, wi/t. — Having received a letter of intro- 
duction to Sir Francis Beaufort, from Lady Franklin, I 
went to the Hydrographical Office and gave it to Captain 
Becher to deliver to the admiral, who saw me, and on my 
placing my plan of search in his hands he desired Cap- 
tain Becher to bring in the Polar chart, on which I traced 
out my plan, pointing out to him that I believed both 
Jones' and Smith's Sounds opened into a Polar ocean, 
as well as Wellington Channel. He appeared pleased 
with my views, which seemed to coincide with his own, 
as he said that he considered the broken land at the 



Intenncw with Parry ahoul my Plans of Search. yo\ 

head of Baffin's Bay formed islands. Sir I^'rancis 
cautioned me nol to Ix: too hairty in laying my plan bcibre 
the First Lord, until I could get it backed up by some 
powerful Arctic or other influential authority ; otherwise, 
he said, he was sure it would be laid aside, for the Board 
of Admiralty only acted under pressure from without. 
He added. Sir Edward Parry's opinion would have 
greater weight than any one's, and strongly urged me 
to see him. Mr. John Barrow was introduced to me 
by Sir I'Vancis Beaufort, and as I was quitting his office 
with Captain Becher, Sir Francis advanced towards nic 
and said, " I must have your hand, and hope yet to shak(; 
hands with you again, to wish you success on your de- 
parture." His reception altogether was most gratifying, 
warm, and friendly. 

On the 1 2th, at six p.m., I dined with Captain Denham, 
at No. 21, Charlotte Street, Portland Place. I met him 
this morning at Lady Franklin's. In my note to .Sir Ed- 
ward Parry, I had asked him to appoint a place and time 
for my seeing him on his way through town to Norfolk. 

On the 14th I saw Captain Denham at his club, the 
Senior United Service, and showed him my plan of 
search, after which he showed me round his club, and we 
afterwards called on Lady Franklin in Spring Gardens, 
taking Parry's answer to my note with me. 

Monday, xdth. — At 9.30 p.m. I waited on Sir Edward 
Parry at Sir Edward Buxton's, No. 10, Upper Grosvenor 
Street, Grosvenor Square. I'arry received me with a 
hearty shake of the hand, and said he felt flattered by 
my referring to him for his opinion, and that mine was 
a noble offer, and he had no doubt whatever but I 
would accomplish all that it was possible to do under 
such circumstances ; had the plan come from any one 
else, he said, he should h^ve at once laid it aside. But 
he felt satisfied that from my experience, whatever I 
proposed was deserving of careful consideration ; and on 




y >• 'f 


ii ; I' r 

giving him b )th my plans, one being by the Coppermine 
River to the Polar Sea, he said he would take two or 
three days to consider them over, and then write me an 
answer. His own opinion was that Franklin had got 
beset westward of Melville Island ; nevertheless he agreed 
with me generally in my views. 

Wednesday, i8M. — I called on Sylvestre, at No. 96, 
Great Russell Street, to ask his opinion as to the best- 
adapted stove for a hut, to winter in the northern regions, 
with the least possible consumption of fuel. He told me, 
after giving me all the details, that the framework of a 
house fitted with a stove could be completed in a fort- 
night, at an expense of about 150/. This evening I dined 
at the " London Tavern," Bishopsgate Street, to which 
I had been invited by the directors of the Auckland 
Islands Company. About 300 sat down to dinner ; 
Admiral Dundas in the chair, with Mr. Charles Enderby 
on his right. I was seated ne.xt to Admiral Sir George 
Back, a place allotted me by Charles Enderby, by whom 
I was introduced to the old Arctic explorer, who shook 
hands with me, and said he had noticed my name on the 
plate next to his. I shook hands with Sir Edward Sabine, 
who took his seat just opposite to mine, and next to Sir 
Roderick Murchison : the latter wore a large glittering 
star on his breast. I had a long talk with Sir George 
Back about my plans of search, which he said he entirely 
approved of; but added that he feared the Admiralty could 
not be moved to do anything more than already done. 

Tuesday, May isi. — Whilst at breakfast this morning 
I received a note from Miss Franklin, requesting me to 
accompany her mother to the Enderbys' at 10.30 a.m. 
On reaching Lady F'ranklin's residence. No. 21, Lower 
Bedford Place, Russell Square, I found a cab already at 
the door. We saw the Enderbys in the office, whom her 
ladyship had some talk with, and found that a vessel 
such as is required for Polar service was somewhat difficult 


^. ( 


Accompany Lady Franklin to the Endcrhys Office. 30.^ 

to obtain. But they took her to a shipbrokcr's where 
several were ofifered. Returning through St. Paul's 
Churchyard, she aUghted at Dollond's, the optician, who 
she said, had been an old friend of her husband's. On 
her return to the cab she told me that Mr. Dollond had 
very liberally offered to subscribe 100/. towards the 
outfit of any expedition she might send out. Having 
transacted all her morning's business, she put me down 
opposite Craven Street, where I lodged, I having re- 
newed the offer of my services as a volunteer, to defray 
all my own personal expenses myself, on condition that 
I should be left to act independently in carrying out my 
own plans of search. 

Calling on the following day at Spring Gardens, Lady 
Franklin had not yet arrived, but it was satisfactory to 
hear from Mrs. Leaves that she was glad Lady Franklin 
had me to accompany her to the city, and " that my 
noble conduct had won golden opinions for me with 
Admiral Beaufort." Miss Cracroft adding, " Lady 
Franklin appeared to think you are the only friend left 
to the cause she has so inuch at heart." I have certainly 
used all my influence with her ladyship throughout to 
dissuade her from risking her own fortune in such an 
uncertain and hazardous venture, more especially if 
without the sanction of her friends ; but to leave the 
whole in the hands of the Government authorities, in the 
event of her not being able to get up a private expedition 
by public subscription. 

On the nth I walked across Blackheath t) Kent 
Cottage, the residence of Sir Edward Sabine; found both 
him and her ladyship at home, and being early in the 
day, about noon, he was in his dressing-gown. We had 
a long discussion about the search ; I showed them both 
my plans. He considered that the Wellington Channel 
was of the utmost importance, and thought the explora- 
tion of it should be left entirely to myself. On my return 






!. f 






.4 utobiography. 

to my lodgings in the evening, I found a letter from 
the Admiralty on my table, containing an answer in the 
negative to my proposed plan of search. 

Having thus failed in my efforts to prosecute the 
search for Franklin, I on the 12th of July left town for 
Dover; and on Saturday, the 14th, embarked in the 
Belgian railway steamer for Ostend, where I arrived on 
the following morning ; and after breakfasting at the 
" H6tel de Swede," took the train to Aix-la-Chapelle, 
where I purposed remaining a month for the benefit of 
the mineral waters and baths. The weather was beauti- 
ful, a bright sun lighting up the rich and fertile landscape 
through which the train passed in this highly cultivated 
country. A level plain of cornfields, meadows, and 
orchards, divided by hedgerows of the ash, birch, pollard, 
and elder. Cherries, both black and red, appeared to be 
the prevailing and most abundant fruits. Windmills 
stud the surface of the country, giving to the whole 
scene a very picturesque aspect. Arriving at- Aachen 
in the evening, I took up my quarters at Dremel's 
" Hotel du Grand Monarque," in Buchell Street. 

My bedroom was No. 68, on the second floor. Break- 
fast hour, nine a.m. Dinner at the table-d'hote, 1.30 p.m. 
About thirty-six sat down to table. Tea at six p.m. The 
number ultimately increased to sixty. I made my cus- 
tomary hour of rising six a.m. The hotel contains 220 
rooms, twenty of them sitting-rooms, with forty-two 
servants, a well-managed and very comfortable establish- 

Tuesday, Augtist 2\st. — After breakfast I left for Spa, 
where I arrived in the afternoon. The approach is very 
pretty, the road passing between a fine avenue of trees. 
I took up my quarters at the " Hotel des Pays Bas," 
dining at the table-d'hote at four p.m. On the following 
morning I walked as far as the Souvenier Spring, about 
two miles distant, along a charming road, to breakfast. 


Visit to and Departure from Spa. 


Found large parties at breakfast in the open gravel area 
between the two springs and the cottage ; a lovely spot, 
surrounded by woods, having paths winding through 
them. The breakfast was excellent ; the best very small 
white loaves I ever tasted, with delicious fresh butter, 
capital coffee and rich cream ; and all for a franc. A 
cock and half a dozen hens attended at my table to pick 
up the crumbs I scattered amongst them. I had a glasu 
from each of the springs, Grossbeck and Souvenicr, re- 
turning to Spa through the young oak-woods, in which 
blackberries and other wild berries, both red and black, 
were growing amongst the grass. During my sojourn 
here, I visited all the spa waters in the vicinity, and 
took my morning chalybeate bath. On my departure I 
purchased some of the beautiful paintings on a light 
wood, for which Spa is so celebrated. 

On the 28th, after having breakfasted as usual at the 
Souvenier Spring Cottage, I took my departure from 
Spa by the train. Passed through Liege and Malines 
to Antwerp, and slept at the " Hotel de Rubens." After 
taking a survey of the place, on the following day I em- 
barked in the Atttwcrpcn steamer on my return voyage 
down the river, passing Flushing. On the following 
morning was off the Nore. Landed at the docks before 
noon of the 30th, and went to my old lodgings. No. 11, 
Craven Street, Strand. 

On Tuesday, the nth of September, 1 started by the 
Great Eastern Railway on an excursion through the eastern 
counties for a week; passing through Soham, Newmarket, 
Bury St. Edmund's, and Ipswich ; and down the River 
Orwell, by the River Queen steamer, to Harwich, staying 
for a day or two at the "Three Cups Inn" there; and 
my old friend, Commander John Stephen, R.N.. residing 
in the vicinity, I dined one day with him and his family 
at their cottage, saw his aviary of fine canaries, and 
accompanied him in some rambles in the neighbourhood. 








^ iitobiography. 

I had every morning a most refreshing bath in the open 
sea. On Monday, the 1 7th, I returned to town by the 
Onoell steamer. 

September 20th. — Having made up my mind to furnish 
a small cottage in the suburbs of London, both for a 
storehouse for my natural history collection and as a 
home for one of my sisters, I to-day commenced the 
search for some suitable place, and ultimately fixed upon 
No. II, Apsley Cottages, Twickenham Green. 

November 6th. — The Herald reported the arrival of 
Sir James Ross's ships off Scarborough. 

IVednesday, 28///. — I called on Captain Denham, who 
accompanied me to the Admiralty, where we saw Sir 
Francis Beaufort, from whom I learnt that there would 
be three chances for me in getting out in the proposed 
forthcoming search, as the two ships but just returned 
were to be re-commissioned immediately for Behring's 
Strait, with the chance of an overland route for myself, 
via Panama, to join them at the Sandwich Islands with 
despatches. The second route mooted, would be by the 
Coppermine River, on Rae's track ; and the third, 
from the eastward, vid Baffin's Bay, by my own pro- 
posed plan. I afterwards called on Lady Franklin, who 
expressed herself by no means satisfied with the results 
of Sir James Ross's late expedition, and asked me to 
draw out a new plan for her with my own suggestions 
as to whatever now remains to be done in any future 
search that might hold out any prospect of better success 
than has hitherr^ ' *ended the efforts already made. Her 
ladyship paid • i compliment on my writing, and 
the soundness of my views, already brought under the 
notice of the Admiralty in my plans of search. 

Defcmbe'^th. — I called on Mr. John Barrow at the 
Admiralt), from whom I learnt that there could be no 
longer any doubt about my being employed in the search. 
He told me that when the Arctic Committee met he 

Call on Lady Franklin with new Plan 0/ Search. 307 

called attention to my name, when it was acknowledged 
by all present that there could not be a more fitting 
person for the command of a boat expedition. 

Saturday, i$ih. — I called on Lady Franklin with my 
new plan of search. Her niece, Miss Cracroft, and herself 
both read it ; expressed themselves pleased with it, and 
said it was clear, and could not be improved upon ; as 
did also Mr. Barrow, on my taking it to his office. 
On the 1 8th I saw Sir Francis Beaufort, when he told 
me that he took my plan home with him last night, 
read it, and that it met with his entire approval. As 
Sir Francis offered to transmit a copy to Sir Edward 
Parry under Admiralty cover, I left a copy with him. 
Meeting Mr. Walker, of the Hydrographical Office, 
outside the admiral's door, I showed a copy to him, 
when he remarked that it was the most likely project 
to succeed of any he had hitherto seen. 


X 2 




A utobiography. 


Plan of boat voyage brought before the House of Commons — Plan 
rejecte<l by the Admiralty — Cross purposes. 

Friday, January ^th, 1850. — I called on my old 
Tasmanian friend, Judge Montagu, with whom I had a 
long talk about the Falkland Islands, to which the 
Government had offered him the appointment of stipen- 
diary magistrate, at a salary of 500/. a year. But he 
told me he had not decided on accepting it until he had 
heard from me my opinion of it, which I fairly gave him, 
and it was this — that the islands had little to recommend 
them. I saw Mrs. Montagu and the two children, when 
he told me that his son was desirous of entering the 
navy. He expressed so much interest in the search for 
Franklin as to say that if he had neither wife nor children 
he would join me in it. He told me that he had once 
seen the celebrated African traveller, Mungo Park, and 
had been acquainted with both Denham and Clapperton. 
Saturday, 19///. — On going this morning to the pay- 
master-general's for my half-pay, I learnt from Messrs. 
Mountenay and Coles, two of the chief clerks in the 
office, that Sir John Ross wanted me to join him in a 
search for Franklin. Afterwards, on seeing Mr. Barrow 
at the Admiralty, I learnt from him that Sir Francis 
Beaufort had deemed it advisable to delay the laying my 
plan before the Board until the Behring's Strait ships 
had sailed ; and subsequently reported most favourably 

My Plans of Search laid before tlie House of Commons. 309 

lommons— Plan 

on it, with the view of sending me out in Captain Penny's 
whaler, the Advice, he having offered to take out any 
scientific officer the Admirahy might be disposed to 
employ in the search ; but nothing, it appears, will be 
done until after the meeting of Parliament. 

Wednesday, 22,rd. — I received a letter from the 
Admiralty thanking me for my plan of search, and that 
if adopted their lordships would communicate with me 
again. On Saturday, February 2nd, I called on Chisholm 
Anstey, M.P., at his office in the Temple, when he told 
me that Sir Robert Inglis was to bring forward a motion 
on the Franklin expedition in the House of Commons 
this evening, and if I wished to be present to send up 
my card to him. Passing by Charing Cross, I met Sir 
Edward Parry walking arm and arm with Sir John 
Richardson, to whom he introduced me ; we howeyer 
had met years gone by. We walked together as far as 
the Admiralty, where I parted from them in the hall. 
Parry told me Scoresby was in favour of my going out. 
I called both on Mr. Barrow and on Lady Franklin, to 
acquaint them with my intention of being at the House 
to-night. Met Sir John Ross in the Strand, and after- 
wards Dr. Daniell, who accompanied me to the House 
of Commons, and obtained for me an admission ticket to 
the Strangers' Gallery, and at 7.15 p.m. I entered the 
House for the first time in my life. Mr. Hume, I 
believe, was speaking on the Church question, followed 
by Mr. Aglionby, when at 8.45 Sir Robert Inglis rose, 
and strongly urged upon the House the necessity of a 
further search, from the eastward, &c., seconded by Mr. 
Anstey, who brought my own plan of search prominently 
forward, urging that whatever expeditions might be 
determined on, the open boat expedition I had pro- 
posed up the Wellington Channel and by the sounds 
at the head of Baffin's Bay — Smith's and Jones' Sounds — 
should at least not be neglected, and stating at the same 


A utobiography. 




§■■ If'fl '! 

f ■■■ ■ 


i; ^' 

f i -'ifi 

I- i 

time my former Polar services and claims to the com- 
mand. Sir Francis Baring rose and said that there 
would be another expedition, eastward, and that the 
propositions now alluded to would receive every atten- 
tion. The whole subject occupied about half an hour. 
I remained about two hours, quitting the gallery at 
9.15 p.m., whilst Mr. Horsman was speaking, and I 
returned home by the 10.30 p.m. train. Blowing a heavy 
gale of wind. It was two a.m. bdfore I got to bed at 
Twickenham. My old friend. Dr. Daniell, who met me 
coming out of the House of Commons, told me he was 
to sail on Friday next for Africa. 

Wednesday, 20th. — To-day I went to the Admiralty 
with the revised copy of my boat equipment, and after 
showing it to Mr. Barrow, Admiral Beaufort, and 
Captain Hamilton, the latter started some difficulties in 
the way of my going out in Penny's vessel, adding that 
he wanted me to go out with Captain Austin. I left the 
plan to be laid before the Board. Afterwards, calling on 
Lady Franklin, I explained to her that the difficulties 
raised by the officials at the Admiralty originated in the 
much-tD-be-regretted indecision and entire absence of 
all concert on the subject at the Board : a most dis- 
heartening state of things to have to deal with. Lady 
Franklin said, " Adhere to Jones' Sound." Captain Peel, 
R.N., son of Sir Robert Peel, who is also a volunteer 
for Arctic service, coming in during the discussion, said 
from an interview he had had with the First Lord 
yesterday he saw no hope himself of being employed in 
the search ; although as he told me that, like myself, he 
was quite ready to go out, even if they only gave him 
charge of an open boat, so zealous was he in the cause. 
I had a long conversation with him on my own boating 
affair progressing so slowly and unsatisfactorily, which 
seemed to interest him much. He is a fine, frank, 
manly specimen of the naval officer, with very pleasing 

Interview with Captain Peel, R.N. 


manners, shaking hands most cordially with mc on my 
rising to leave, as if he had known me for years, instead 
of a first casual introduction. Poor fellow, like many 
more I have met in the journey through this uncertain, 
transitory phase of existence, he is now no more. 

March \st. — My offer to be employed in the search 
was finally rejected by the Hoard of Admiralty, after all 
my unwearied application, and the unceasing and able 
support it had met with from the hydrographer, Sir 
Francis Beaufort, who said he was as much astounded as 
myself at the result ; more especially, as he told me 
Captain Hamilton, the secretary, had complimented him 
for backing up my plan by a report on it himself, and 
even going so far as to get a model of a north-country 
boat for me. 

On making my failure known to Lady Franklin she 
expressed great surprise, and warmly shaking hands 
with me, said, " I never forget an old friend," stating 
that she would see that I went out some way or other, if 
at her own expense. Admiral Beaufort, Captain Hamil- 
ton, and Mr. Barrow all urged me to see Mr. Anstey, 
M.P., and get him to bring my case under the notice of 
the First Lord, as they seemed to be of opinion that 
the refusal was an act of the Board in the absence of the 
F"irst Lord, and without his knowledge. I consequently 
saw Mr. Anstey, at his chambers in the Temple, and 
made this request of him, pointing out at the same time 
the injury that would accrue to myself if not employed, 
after things had gone so far, and that the only reparation 
and compensation that could be made me would be my 
promotion to the deputy-inspectorship for past services 
in the Antarctic expedition, which had been so long 
in abeyance. Anstey replied he would see the First 
Lord himself. He not only saw Sir Francis Baring, 
but also wrote some very strongly-worded letters to 
him, of which he kindly furnished me with copies. 


A ulobiography. 


V yJ- 



After repeatedly urging my employment, both on the 
First Lord, Admiral Dundas, and Captain Hamilton, 
and encountering every kind of evasion, he at last wrung 
out a reluctant and indefinite promise that I should be 
sent out ; which, however, after all was not fulfilled by 
them. Notwithstanding, I used all the pressure I could 
bring to bear on the First Lord. I saw him again on 
his lev^e day, entered into a full explanation of my plans, 
reminding him that Admiral Dundas had told a member 
of Parliament, Mr. Anstey, that I was to have charge of 
a boat expedition, and that Captain Hamilton, the secre- 
tary to the Board, had given me every encouragement to 
hope that I should be employed. To which Sir Francis 
replied, " I have read over your plans, which appear to 
me to be attended with great risk ;" and on my attempting 
to remove this impression, he said, what he more parti- 
cularly alluded to was the want of some place of refuge 
for me and my boat's crew after being left by the ship to 
our own resources, which I met by stating that there were 
abundant depots, all accessible, to fall back upon, &c. He 
shook me by the hand on rising to go ; but all 1 could 
elicit from him was, " You will hear from the Admiralty 
in a few days." This was on the 12th, and yet, on 
going into Captain Becher's ofifice on the 28th, and 
meeting Captain Austin there, he, after shaking hands 
with me, said, " I thought you had cut me, not having 
seen anything of you of late ; but although, having 
been so busy myself, I have seen nothing of your plans, 
yet I should have had no objection to your going out 
with me, and hope that you have not thought so." 

Lady Franklin also told Mr. Anstey that Penny had 
assured her he had no objection to a naval officer going 
out with him, provided that he went out independently, 
neither placed over him nor serving under him. Be this 
as it may, my kind friend, Mr. Barrow, acknowledged to 
me that I had been very ill-treated throughout, and that 


Difficulties in carrying out my Plans. 3 1 3 

from first to last there had been no disposition on the 
part of the Board to forward my plans. Indeed, all that 
had been done was through the hydrographer ; and the 
whole truth was that Admiral Dundas had from the first 
believed that Franklin's ship had never got out of Baffin's 
Bay, but had been lost there, and he consequently cared 
nothing about the prosecution of the search, and the 
Board would give themselves no further trouble about 
it than public opinion and the pressure from without 
compelled them. I subsequently learnt from my former 
boating companion. Commander Phillips, that Penny had 
actually refused to give me a passage out in his vessel, 
notwithstanding both Sir Francis Beaufort and Admiral 
Dundas were reported as having said to him, " You 
must find room for McCormick, and take him out 
with you." 

The known antipathy existing between the hydro- 
grapher and the Board was unfortunate for myself, 
after all my own exertions in this humane cause, and 
which met with nothing but the coldest indifference, nay 
injustice, from the Board of Admiralty. One satisfaction 
is, they cannot deprive me of the good opinion of my 
friends and supporters — that I could not have done 
more than I did. 

On the loth of April, after hearing from Mr. Barrow 
that Captain Hamilton had now relinquished all hope of 
my being sent out, I called at Admiral Beaufort's office, 
to thank him for all the kind support he had given me. 
He received me very kindly, and said, " The Admiralty 
have acted very unjustly towards you, but your reputa- 
tion will stand as high as ever throughout the length and 
breadth of the land ;" adding, " You have from first 
to last persevcringly urged your plans in the most 
straightforward, generous, and handsome manner, which 
every one must feel." 

On my telling him that Lady Franklin had offered me 





' '' n 











■:^i! '^ 






the command of a private expedition of her own, to 
search Ross's Strait, and much wished mo to undertake 
it, he replied, " Do not pledj^e yourself to anythinjj of 
the sort. Franklin will not be found there." Remark- 
ing, " I have kept out of lier ladyship's way of late, in 
consequence of this feelinj^, althoujjh I feel that I have 
been generous in doing so, as I am anxious to have that 
portion surveyed, under the impression that there is a 
passage into the bottom of the (iulf of Boothia." The 
admiral throughout has been my most staunch friend. 

On seeing Mr. Anstey, on the 13th of April, he told 
me that he had had several conversitions with the First 
Lord and Admiral Duntlas since he saw me last, and that 
both had acknowledged to him that mine was a hard case, 
and that the whole had been, by his own admission, 
bungled from the first. He added that I could go out in 
any one of the ships I liked, but that the difficulty was 
about a boat's crew, for which there was no time left now. 
Yet Anstey wanted to persuade me, and in the most 
emphatic manner, that it was impossible for me to stand 
higher than I did in the opinion both of Sir Francis 
Baring and of Admiral Dundas. The latter, he said, spoke 
of me and my plan in such high terms as to acknowledge 
I was deserving of a ship to myself for carrying it out, 
had there been time left, and that the main difficulty 
appeared to be the finding a vessel for a point d'appui^ 
for me to fall back upon. Anstey said he told the 
Admiral that my going out as he had suggested would 
not be carrying out my own plans, but his, which the 
Admiral at once admitted. Finally Anstey assured me, 
that from what passed if I was not sent out they would 
give me my promotion. 

Wednesday, December ^th. — Having written an article 
on " Christmas Day at the South Pole," which my friend 
Hunt, the editor of the Daily Nezvs^ had asked me for, 
as a contribution to the Christmas number of Household 

Contribute to " liouwhoUi Words'^ 


Words, for Charles Dickens, I took it to him, when it 
was at once sent to press, and appeared in that niinil)er. 

The year 1.S51 pass(;J away with but few iniidcnls of 
interest. The searchinj^ expeditions returned from the 
Arctic Seas about Michai:hnas, without havinj; accom- 
phshed anylhinjf of importance, but cpiarreUinj,^ amongst 
themselves; Austin and Pt!nny at loj^fj^erht^ads, their 
jealousy of each other causinj^*^ obstructions to the service, 
and thus defeatinj^ the very object for which they were 
sent out. There was also a schism between old Sir John 
Kossandhis able and experienced ice-master, Abernethy; 
and altojjjether it was a great mistake to pack so many 
vessels together in one locality, as in the Wellington 
Channel, where such discordant elements for dissension 
<xisted, instead of extending the exploration over a wid<'r 
area, which would have afforiled each ship a s<'parate line 
of search, and by thus going over a gnj.iter extent of 
ground, so would the chances of finding some clue to the 
fate of the missing expedition have been increased. 

The feeling in the squadron was that Austin was con- 
sidered to be a goodnatured man, and spent much of his 
time in giving entertainments, but was also active and 
bustling in the superintendence of the departure of the 

I was told that the feeling in the squadron with refe- 
rence to my own plan of search was that it was a very 
j)eriloMS one ; the same thing was told nic by Sir Francis 
Haring. Notwithstanding which, as rumour stated 
another expedition would be sent out in the ensuing 
spring, I lost no time in again offering my services to the 
Admiralty in a letter to the Board dated the 28th of 
November, to which I received a reply in acknowledg- 
ment on the 2nd of December. And on my mentioning 
to some of my friends that if I failed this time in moving 
their lordships to employ me, I would endeavour to get 
up a private expedition by subscription, I soon had 



fllfiSi''! ' i 






offers of subscribers to begin the list with from my friends 
John Barrow, Dr. Richard King, Messrs. Gillott, the 
uniform makers to the Admiralty, and others, and very 
probably might have been enabled to carry it out, had 
not the Admiralty at last given me a chance, such as it 


I m 



My new plan of search— Difficulties with officialism— Am at last 
offered the appointment of surgeon to the North Star — Accept it on 
urgent pressure of friends — More obstacles — Departure of expe- 

Wednesday, January 21 si, 1852. — Having written out 
a new plan of search, called for by the changed aspect 
of things, I took it to Sir Francis Beaufort, who after 
reading it over carefully seemed much pleased with it, 
and turning to me said, " This shall appear in print some 
fine day ; it will show that there are others who think 
deeply on this subject, and the Admiralty must think your 
remarks years ago on Cape Riley and Beechey Island a 
striking coincidence ;" adding, " How did you then come 
to name these places in particular?" He was much 
interested with the part relating to the means of suste- 
nance for the missing crews pointed out by me, and said, 
" The public should know this." He, however, advised 
me to reverse my plan of search, and propose going out 
to the Wellington Channel direct, to commence explora- 
tion in a north-east direction, instead of to the north-west 
from Smith's Sound ; otherwise, he said, it would be sure 
to be thrown overboard by the Admiralty, on the ground 
that Smith's Sound had never been seen clear of ice. If 
I made this alteration, and enclosed it to him, he said he 
would himself put it into the hands of Captain Hainilton, 
and give it all his support, although he could not promise 




A utobiography. 

lU i 

that it would be successful. On Mr. Barrow's coming 
into the office he repeated to him most of what he had 
said to me. After thanking him for his kind support, I 
took my plan with me, to draw it out afresh. On the 
following day, the 22nd, I sent off my corrected plan by 

Saturday, 2\th. — On seeing Mr. Barrow at the Ad- 
miralty, I learnt from him that he had seen nothing of 
my plan, and that unless Admiral Beaufort got it early 
before the Board it would be too late for the printed 
returns to the House of Commons. As this was a most 
essential point for its success, I saw the admiral at once 
about it, when he said, " I put your plan into Captain 
Hamilton's hands myself;" and on my stating Mr. 
Barrow's apprehensions about it, he replied, " I'll see 
to that, and get it through." On leaving the Admiralty 
I Sir George Back, who took my arm, and walked 
as far as Waterloo Place with me. Entering into a 
friendly chat on the Arctic search, he seemed to cling 
to the notion that the coast about Pond's Bay had not 
been sufficiently searched. On his asking me what my 
present plan was, I told him I would send him a copy to 
his residence. No. 106, Gloucester Place, Portman Square. 
On leaving him I fell in with a former messmate of mine 
some twenty years ago, now Captain Chambers, R.N., 
who told me that my plans had been much talked about at 
the clubs, and that the feeling was I had been most unjustly 
and shamefully treated. On the 28th I was introduced 
by Mr. Barrow, in his office, to Commander Maguire, 
going out to command the Plover at Behring's Strait — a 
frank, jolly-looking sailor, who shook me warmly by the 
hand, and said, " I am most glad to make your acquain- 
tance." And on my plan being named he said, " Could 
you point out the very spot where you could put your 
hand upon Franklin they would not listen to it at the 
Admiralty, everything being left to the Arctic Council." 

■!2l. I i 

My last Plan tpiorcd. 


Of the truth of this indeed I have had dire experience. 
On Mr. Barrow telling me that he had seen nothing of 
my plan, and Captain Hamilton had gone to Brighton, I 
said I would see the hydrographer about it ; but he told 
me Sir Francis Beaufort would not go near any of their 
lordships, as they did not pull together. My letter of 
the 27th ult, it appeared also, he had not been able to 
get, and on referring to the large book of names, found 
that my own name was not therein entered. I told 
him that it should not be igfiored in that way, for I 
would bring up a copy I had by me, with their lordships' 
answer acknowledging the reception of it, to-morrow, 
for insertion in the Arctic returns. And on the following 
morning I took it to his office, and wrote a note at his 
desk, authorizing him to make use of this copy in printing 
the returns. 

February 2nd. — I again called on Mr. Barrow, and 
learnt from him that he had succeeded at last in getting 
my plan by going himself to Captain Hamilton, and say- 
ing to him, " If you do not let me have it, I know it 
will break his heart if it is not printed with the returns to 
the House of Commons." This was a most kind action 
on the part of my friend Barrow, and will not easily be 
forgotten by me. 

On the 5th I had a long conversation with Captain 
Hamilton, having gone into his office to see the models 
of an east coast of England coble and Parry's sledge. 
He made some comments on my plan, which he expressed 
his approval of, but thought I had dwelt rather strongly 
on the swell which sets out of Smith's Sound. But this 
was one of the strongest arguments — together with the 
very large floes of ice which were annually discharged 
from it, beyond all conception as coming from a mere 
sound — on which I had formed so decided an opinion, and 
come to the conclusion that whenever explored it would be 
found to open into a vast Polar ocean, forming 





\i f 








' i*> 

vt , 



outlets for the passage of the enormous floes on the 
breaking up of that ice-encumbered ocean. Captain 
Hamilton expressed a strong desire that I should set the 
question at rest with reference to Jones' Sound, which 
it appeared to him had been only very superficially 
examined, and thought it might be done from the 
Wellington Channel by an overland journey, as he was 
not satisfied about the cairn said to have been seen by a 
whaler in Jones' Sound. 

On the loth I met Sir Edward Belcher (who is to 
command the forthcoming expedition) in Barrow's office, 
and learnt from him that he had seen Admiral Berkeley 
about me, and had proposed my going out in his ship as 
surgeon, with another surgeon under me for the 
ship's duties. To this, as I was circumstanced, there 
were insurmountable objections in the position in which 
I stood with the director-general of our department, who 
it was well known was no friend of mine ; and therefore 
to have any chance of carrying out my plans efficiently 
it was of the first importance that I should go out entirely 
unfettered by the medical department, by being appointed 
as additional surgeon for boat service, which would 
relieve me of all professional responsibility. To this he 
replied, " You had better see Sir Francis Beaufort on the 
subject ;" which I at once ''id, and found him engaged 
with Captain Washington, the future hydrographer, to 
whom he introduced me, and said that I had been many 
years a volunteer for this service, and that the whole of 
the coast round Cape Sir John Franklin might be searched 
by me ; and both agreed with me that I ought to go out 
" additional " for boat service. I lost no time in making 
this known to Sir Edward, who said he was quite willing 
to have it arranged as the admiral wished, but thought 
that objections would be made officially to such a change 
in the general routine of the service. 

The 17th was the First Lord's /ez/(? day, for which 

V i 

A difficult Position. 


I had entered my name and was about attending, when 
Sir P'rancis Beaufort advised me to pass it over, as in 
the present state of things it could do no good, and might 
do harm. I therefore had the pen run through my name 
on the list. 

On the 19th I accidentally met my old commander, 
Sir Edward Parry, coming out of the Admiralty. He 
shook handS; and on my telling him that I was to go out 
at last, he said, " You will have plenty to do, and you will 
do it." I met Sir Edward Belcher in the hall of the 
Adm.iralty, when he told me that Captain Milne would 
not appoint me till the ship was ready for sea. These 
few words carried much meaning with them, and pre- 
pared me for the persevering obstruction I was destined 
to encounter in the carrying out of my long-cherished 
plan. On the following day I again met him, when he told 
me in a hurried, excited manner that I could only go out 
as surgeon of the North Star, and that an assistant- 
surgeon would be appointed to relieve me on going away 
in my boat expedition. This most unexpected announce- 
ment was excessively mortifying to me, and on seeing 
Mr. Barrow and Sir Francis Beaufort about it they both 
strangely enough, acquiesced in it, notwithstanding all 
that had passed only the other day. But I suppose they 
saw there was no other chance for me. On the 21st I 
met Sir Edward Belcher in Barrow's office, when he asked 
me if I had come to any decision, as either a surgeon or 
an assistant must within ten minutes be appointed to the 
North Star. As I still held out for an additional 
appointment unfettered, he ended by saying that he had 
brought it before their lordships a dozen times, and that 
making difficulties would only injure the whole cause ; 
and it was ultimately agreed to refer the whole to the 
hydrographer. On my entering his office, Sir Francis 
Beaufort said, " Sir Edward has offered to give you an 
assistant-surgeon, so there can be no obstacle in the way 

ii If 


4 ' 

f \ 


*■ ■' 



A ntobiog raphy. 


of your leaving the ship in your boat." Sir Edward 
himself then asked me whether he should ask for my 
appointment to the North Star or not. On my reluc- 
tantly giving my consent, Sir Francis Beaufort, after Sir 
Edward left the office, said, " I was afraid, after your 
peremptory manner yesterday, that you had declined 
going out under the existing circumstances, and I thought 
you were mad in so doing." Adding, " I have had a 
high opinion of you. I like a man with a heart. You 
have proved that you have got one ; and / want you 
to go out." Thanking the good old admiral for his 
good opinion of me and friendly support, I left the 

Tuesday, February 24/^. — I went to Chatham, and 
on board the North Star, selected my cabin, the after 
one on the port side ; took up my commission to her 
at the dockyard, and wrote a letter to the Admiralty, 
reporting my having joined, and another recommending 
Sylvestre's stove for warming the ship. 

On the 4th of March, whilst I was at the Admiralty, a 
young medical student came to offer himself ^ a volunteer 
for the expedition, and on my inquiring into his qualifi- 
cations, it came out that he was a son of an old fellow- 
student of mine at Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospitals, by 
the name of Woodman, and although I made every 
effort to get him appointed, failed in doing so ; and there 
can be no doubt whatever that the obstacles thrown in 
the way of an assistant-surgeon's appointment arose from 
the desire to deprive me of one, so that when we got out 
the plea of medical duties might be brought forward to 
keep me on board the ship ; and ultimately I only suc- 
ceeded in getting one, lent from Sir Edward Belcher's 
ship at the last moment, by my telling Admiral Beaufort 
that I was firmly resolved, even now, not to go out 
unless this point was satisfactorily settled before the ship 
sailed. I strongly urged on Sir Edward Belcher the 

A Volunteer Assisiant-Surgcon. 


appointment of Mr. Woodman to the N^otih Star, stating 
his high quahfications, and the acquisition he would be to 
the service. His reply was that he would have done so 
himself to oblige Mr. Bransby Cooper, who had recom- 
mended him to him, but for the director-general, whom 
he had seen about it, and who would not hear of a new 
entry into the service — and he might have added, so far 
oblige me. On my seeing Mr. Woodman, who had been 
very anxious to get out with me, and acquainting him 
with the result of my efforts to serve him, he told me 
that on naming me to Bransby Cooper, the nephew of 
Sir Astley, he remarked that I was going to destruc- 
tion in attempting to carry out such a harassing under- 
taking. This feeling is very much in keeping with 
what Captain Austin professed on my first meeting 
with him, after his return, in the Arctic Council room. 
On offering his hand he confessed that he had objected 
to my going out in his expedition on the ground of 
his unwillingness to incur the responsibilty of dropping 
my boat and party to take care of ourselves when 
wholly cut off from the ship ; humanity, he pleaded, 
justified him in so doing. This was all very plausible, 
but entirely wasted upon me, as I replied, all this had 
been fully considered by me long ago, and that I 
thought he must himself now feel convinced that all 
his groundless fears for myself and party would not deter 
me from carrying out my plan, even without his aid ; 
adding, that whatever I undertook after mature resolve 
nothing could prevent me from carrying out, come the 
time when it would, albeit beset, as at the present 
moment, with like opposition and obstruction. 

On the 15th Mr. Barrow, whilst I was in his office, 
kindly sent his messenger to get my name entered in 
the First Lord's levde book before it came down into 
the hall, and, even then, was just in time to be the last 
name in the list for the first levtSe day, next Tuesday 

V 2 






week. He asked me to make a sketch of Disco for him, 
which I promised to do, and to send him home. 

Tuesday, March 22,rd. — At four p.m. I attended the 
First Lord's levde. On entering the room the Duke of 
Northumberland rose from his seat and requested me to 
be seated in a chair opposite to himself. I put into his 
hands a copy of my letter to the Admiralty dated the 
6th of June, 1850, containing a record of my services, 
with some testimonials, stating, at the same time, that 
being about the last on his grace's list, I felt that I ought 
not to take up his time at such a moment with a r'/z/a- 
voce stateoient of my claims, if he would permit me to 
leave this record with him, which he kindly received, 
asking me what it ended with, and I replied, my pro- 
motion to the deputy-inspectorship ; adding that my 
naming my promotion at the present moment was solely 
that his grace might bear in mind, on the return of the 
expedition, when the usual general promotion of the 
officers took place, that I rested my claims to promotion 
on special services which I had long ago hoped would 
have obtained for me special promotion to the half-pay 
list. He replied, " I will have it all recorded." I also 
reminded him that I was simply appointed surgeon ol 
the store-ship North Star, an appointment beneath my 
position and standing in the service, and in every way 
calculated to fetter me in following up the great object 
of my heart, the discovery of traces of the fate of my old 
ships, the Erebus and Terror, and their ill-fated com- 
mander, Sir John Franklin, who had been an old and 
esteemed friend of mine ; and I had accepted the position 
with all its drawbacks rather than be deprived of having 
some share in the search. It was also the express 
desire of the hydrographer, Sir Francis Beaufort, who 
had so warmly supported my plan, and done all in his 
power to obtain for me an independent and special 
appointment for carrying it out. The whole inter- 

Attend the LcviU- of the Dnke of iVoi't/niHiberhvid. 325 

view did not occupy more than five or six minutes. I 
rose to go, when the duke rose from his seat, and ac- 
companying me to the door of the room, said, " I wish 
you success ; you go with the best wishes of the country 
with you ; " shaking me warmly by the hand as he 
said so. 

On entering Mr. Barrow's room afterwards, I learnt 
from him that Sir Edward Belcher had been making a 
lame and futile attempt to get himself and his friend, the 
director-general, out of the dilemma, in reference to the 
appointment of an assistant-surgeon to the North Star, 
by telling Mr. Barrow that he had been under the im- 
pression that the director-general intended appointing 
one, and afterwards found that he had left it to him to 
do so. The fact was, both had been juggling together 
to defeat me but failed, so far as an assistant was 

Wednesday, 24///. — I met Sir Edward Parry at the 
Admiralty, who told me I ought to be taken up the 
Wellington Channel in one of the ships of the squadron, 
and landed at Cape Sir John Franklin, or I should lose 
much time in getting over ground already gone over in 
Wellington Strait ; and promised me that he would 
communicate with the First Lord on the subject. He 
also told me that it was his wish that a vessel should 
be sent in the direction of Melville Island in search of 
the Ifivestigator. 

On the eve of my departure on a somewhat hazardous 
enterprise, I had deemed it only prudent to see my 
mother and sisters all settled under the same roof; and 
having lately written to them to prepare for a removal 
to my cottage at Twickenham, on the 25th I went to 
Dover by express train, but had some difficulty in 
rousing them to muster energy enough to set about 
an exchange of residence. However, I got some of the 
chattels packed, and returned to town on the following 


l f 




■1 •] 





\ t \ 

ifli ■ 

day. On April the 6th I went to Dover a^ain, and the 
next day, having seen the remainder of the luggage to 
the goods office, I brought my mother and sisters, all 
invalids, away with me in a first-class carriage to our- 
selves by the train. Took a coach from the London 
Bridge station to St. Paul's Churchyard, and from thence 
by the Chertsey omnibus to Twickenham Green, which 
we reached at 6.30 p.m. 

Saturday, April loth. — I met Dr. Rae in Barrow'soffice, 
to whom I was introduced. We had a long chat together 
over the Arctic chart, on which he pointed out to me a 
spot to the southward and westward of Cape Walker as, 
in his opinion, the most likely spot for liscovering the 
fate of Franklin. He said he had read all my plans, and 
had expected that I should have been sent out long ago. 
On the 13th, my friend Barrow having promised to 
accompany me on board the North Star before her 
departure, we started by train for Woolwich. On our 
arrival at the station we found a group of officers, with 
Captain Kellett, about going to the hospital of the Royal 
Marine division, on a survey of an old ice quartermaster 
who had been very injudiciously, not to say officiously, 
during my temporary absence, reported unfit for the 
service. So that my timely arrival very opportunely 
saved the poor old fellow from what would have been 
simply an act of injustice to him ; for examining into the 
causes of his rejection I found nothing whatever in 
justification of the step taken, and reported him fit for 
the service, the medical officers of the hospital entirely 
agreeing with me. The survey was accordingly annulled, 
and I took him in my own ship, and he turned out one of 
our most reliable petty officers. 

Saturday, x'fth. — I took my leave of my excellent 
friend Sir Francis Beaufort, Mr. Barrow accompanying 
me into his office. The admiral produced the Polar 
chart, and called my attention to the cairn which had 


My last Intcrvicxv ivilli Lady Franklin^ Cfc. 2>2 7 

been seen in Jones' Sound by a whaler, and expressed a 
wish that I should search for it. He gave mc two copies 
of his " Sun-tables," shook me heartily by the hand, and 
wished me success. Quitting his office I met Captain 
Hamilton, and he made the same suggestion to me the 
admiral had done, adding, " I have great faith in you, 
and hope you will not forget to search for the cairn 
in Jones' Sound, or not see my face again." 

The same afternoon I called at No. 21, Bedford Place, 
Russell Square, to take leave of Lady Franklin and her 
niece, Miss Cracroft. Her ladyship also dwelt strongly 
on the necessity of a search in Jones' Sound for the 
cairn. I remained talking with them for above an 
hour on the unsatisfactory position in which I was 
placed, and the keen disappointment it was to me, after 
all my exertions in the cause, to have been denied an 
independent command, but at the last I had determined 
to set all obstacles aside, and go out and do my best. 
On bidding her ladyship good-bye, and shaking hands 
with her, she pressed me to stay to dinner, and on my 
declining, asked me for to-morrow, which, for the same 
reason, want of time, I was also compelled to decline. 

Monday, i^th. — This being the day for their lord- 
ships' inspection of the ships, accompanied by a friend I 
entered the train at the London Bridge terminus. Having 
met Captain Austin on the platform, he joined us in a 
first-class carriage to Greenhithe, entering into a long 
conversation about the expedition, and saying it would be 
a dashing thing if we completed our work and got home 
again the same season. He appeared in excellent humour, 
offering us each a part of the Times he was reading. It 
was 1.20 p.m. when I got on board, and found that their 
lordships had only left about ten minutes, which I con- 
fess was a matter of no great regret to me, after the 
treatment I had so recently received at their hands. 
Frank Y. Toms, the assistant-surgeon, whom I had at 





.'E t \ 

. > , ,.'1 
4 1 



'8 .■ Ji, 


la^t succeeded in jjjetting appointed to the North Star at 
the very eleventh hour, had lost no time in establishinjj; 
himself en board, and I found him in the gun-room — a 
promising-looking young officer. After showing my 
friend round the main-deck, the gun-room, and my 
cabin, we returned on shore, and McClintock came on 
board just as I was leaving. On our return to town, 
learning that the officers of the expedition were expected 
at Beard's photographic establishment to have their like- 
nesses taken, we called in and found Alston, the mate 
of the North Star, getting his taken ; but the light 
proving bad, it was a failure, and both he and I were 
asked to come again to-morrow. 

On Tuesday, the 20th, went to Beard's, in King William 
Street, and at noon had my portrait taken hurriedly, in 
a dress uniform coat, in company with a friend, who also 
sat for one. The light was good. Called at the Ad- 
miralty afterwards and bid my friends Mr. Barrow and 
Captain Hamilton good-bye. Returning to Twickenham, 
I took a hasty leave of my mother and sisters there, and 
on my return to town again I started by the last train 
from London Bridge at ten p.m. Sir Edward remarked 
as he passed along the platform, seeing me looking out 
of the door of the carriage in which I was seated : 
" You will lose your passage." My rejoinder was : " I 
only share the risk of doing so with the commander of 
the expedition." The commodore was going by the 
same train. I got on board my ship about midnight. 

As the narrative will appear in another part of the 
work, I shall only state here that I returned in the 
Plivenix steamer to England, arriving in the Thames on 
Thursday, October 13th, 1853. 

■ .i 




Again on half-pay after my return in 1853— Complete my chart at the 
Hydro^'raphical Dcpurtintnt of the Admirahy and circulate a few 
private copies of my I'oat Voyage amongst friends to the search 
— Promotion still in abeyance— Dr. I'.iiig's Arctic lectures. 

On my return from my Arctic voyage, I took up my 
quarters at my old lodgings, No. 6, Woodland Terrace, 
on October 15th, and gave my Esquimaux dog, Erebus, 
in charge of my former shipmate, Abernethy ; my other 
dog. Terror, having died on board the P/iwnix on the 
passage home. On the 17th, I went to the Admiralty 
and saw my friend Barrow, who welcomed my re- 
turn with a hearty shake of the hand. He told me 
he had read my narrative, and said it was the most 
dangerous expedition of any of them. He asked me to 
write my autograph on the fly-leaf of a copy of his 
father's book "Arctic Voyages of 18 18," containing 
autographs of all the officers who have commanded 
expeditions, and to be deposited after his death in the 
British Museum. Mine was the last on the page. As 
I was coming out of the Admiralty I met Sir George 
Back, in company with another old admiral and another 
gentleman. He was most hearty in his congratulations, 
taking my arm and walking with me as far as the 
Senior United Service Club, all of us chatting about the 
expedition. Afterwards I called on my friend Dr. 

Sunday, 2ird. — I spent the day with my old friend 
Professor Owen, at his residence, Sheen Gate, Rich- 


1 1 if 







'ill \ ; 

I. IS 

.* : i c 

mond Park. He showed mc round his grounds, and 
his litde farmyard, with his two cows. Mrs. Owen had 
gone to make a call on her neighbour, the Hon. Mrs. 
Liddell, and on her return said Mrs, Liddell wished to 
be introduced to me ; so I went over with Professor 
Owen, and saw the ancient ash of Queen Elizabeth's 
time, its hollow shell of a trunk still possessing sufficient 
vitality to send forth some green branches. Mr. Bro- 
derip, the amateur naturalist and distinguished barrister, 
had been asked to meet me at dinner, and gave me a 
most cordial reception, shaking me by the hand over 
and over again. There were two other gentlemen at 
table, and Mrs. Owen. Mr. Broderip and I returned in 
a cab to Piccadilly, where I took leave of him, and it 
being too late for the train to Woolwich I had to walk 
over Blackheath home. 

November ^th. — My friend Barrow asked me to give 
Stephen Pearce, the Arctic portrait painter, a sitting for 
my portrait, for his collection of the portraits of com- 
manders of Arctic searching parties. On the 5th, when 
at the Admiralty, Captain Becher returned ine my chart, 
on which the hydrographer, Sir Francis Beaufort, had 
done me the honour to substitute my own name for the 
bay I had in my chart named the Bay of Refuge. 
On the 7th, Captain Becher introduced me to Mr. 
Arrowsmith, the distinguished publisher of charts, who 
gave me an invitation to breakfast with him. 

I was employed on the 16th and 17th correcting the 
compass bearings and variations of my chart of Welling- 
ton Channel, and took it to the Admiralty on the follow- 
ing morning and remained all day in the Hydrographical 
Office, making two tracings of it in Walker's office ; and 
was but just in time to get the alterations made in the 
new Admiralty chart, as 150 impressions were com- 
menced, of which eighteen had already been struck 
off from the plate, when Mr. Walker stopped them till 


Traciug of my Coast-hnc for the Admiralty Chart 331 

I had seen Admiral Beaufort, and pointed out to him 
that Mount Frankh'n had been placed out of its proper 
position, as there was no mountain whatever in that 
direction. Arrowsmith himself, fortunately, came into 
the office as Captain Becher and I were discussing this 
point. He quite agreed with me that there was no peak 
whatever in the position laid down in the Admiralty 
chart, and said that he had left it out in his own chart. 
He moreover added that it was very dangerous to ships 
placing such a peak where none really existed. He 
thought my own peak would be found to agree with the 
one termed Barrow's Monument. Arrowsmith .said that 
my outline of the coast appeared to him so much more 
satisfactory, that if I would furnish him with a tracing 
of it he would introduce it into his own new chart. Mr. 
Walker then gave me a copy of the new chart, to reduce 
the scale of my own to it. 

On the 2ist I again went to the Hydrographical 
Office, and there traced out my coast-line on a reduced 
scale for Arrowsmith, and a copy was also given to the 
engravers, who were set to work on the Admiralty chart 
to insert it. Whilst I was in Captain Becher's office 
Arrowsmith came in, and I gave him the tracing from 
my chart. We had a long conversation on the position 
of Mount Franklin ; he expressed his entire .satisfaction 
with my coast-line, telling me that he would send me a 
copy of his chart in three or four days, and I promised 
him a copy of my own narrative in return. During the 
conversation, Mr. Walker brought in the first impression 
from the new Admiralty chart plate with the insertion of 
my line of coast complete. Barrow brought in the sketch- 
book, with views of the headlands in the Wellington 
Channel, &c., which I had given him, and he paid me 
the compliment of having had handsomely bound up, in 
roan-coloured Russia, with his own crest (the squirrel) 
and my name in gilt on the cover. My chart and dis- 







m I 

coverles, with another of Haffin's Bay, were bound up 
with it. 

December 2nd.—\ paid my subscription of 2/. for my 
lamented friend Bellot's testimonial, to the Geogra- 
phical Society. 

Monday, \2th. — I cailed on Arrowsmith, who pre- 
sented me with a copy of his new chart, the first im- 
pression having my own name inserted in the upper 
corner, amongst the Arctic discoverers. On the 15th, 
Mr. Barrow gave me a note of introduction to Mr. 
Scott, the manager at the Queen's printing-office, to 
enable me to see my boat narrative and sketches through 
the printers' and engraver's hands. On Mr. Scott giving 
me Mr. Martin's, the engraver's, address, I at once called 
on him. He said my sketches were very good, the best 
he had seen from any of the expeditions, and were de- 
serving of being transferred to better paper than the 
Government foolscap, and that the Forlorn Hope running 
under the lee of the icebergs would make an excellent 
picture. Mr. Waldick, one of the artists, being himself 
a scene-painter, said he would like to get up a pano- 
rama from my rough sketches. 

February \^t/i. — I called at the Queen's printers, and 
at Day's, the engraver's, for my chart, which being 
finished I received ten copies. I presented Arrowsmith 
with one, and had an hour's chat with him ; he seemed 
much pleased with it, and said it could not have been 
better done, and that he believed my coast-line would 
come out from my dead-reckoning as near as possible to 

On Tuesday, the2 ist, when dining at No. 7, New Street, 
Spring Gardens, with my friend John Barrow, I saw his 
fine large painting of the Arctic Council, painted by 
Stephen Pearce : all excellent likenesses. Sir Francis 
Beaufort especially — it was to the very life, both in ex- 
pression and attitude. Besides his mother, Lady Bar- 

Gel Rands appointed to the " Talbotl' 


jp a pano- 

row (Dowager), and his sister, he had his brother, Sir 
Cieorge, and Lady Harrow, with Mrs. Batty, his other 
sister, and her two daughters to meet me. The con 
versation, animated, on Polar adventure, north and 

On the 25th of March I succeeded in getting the late 
coxswain of my boat, Rands, into the " Talbotl^ going out 
this spring to the north ; her commander, to whom I 
had strongly recommended him as ice quartermaster, 
promising me that he would take him. Captain Washing- 
ton, the hydrographer (elect) to the Admiralty, travelled in 
the same carriage of the Wojlwich train up to town 
with me. He thanked me for the copy of my narrative 
1 sent him the other day. Said that the illustrations 
were a great addition, that one was worth whole pages of 
written description, and he wished that I could inocculate 
the service with a taste for sketching ; adding that he 
was much interested in the perusal of my narrative. 

On the 28th, I called on my former advocate in the 
search, Chisholm Anstey, at his office. No. 3, Hare Court, 
Temple. Found him engaged with a Mr. Crauford, 
M.P., to whom he introduced me. On my presenting 
him with a copy of my narrative, he looked over the 
illustration.;, with which he seemed much pleased ; Cape 
Spencer, in particular, he said, was beautiful. He related 
to me how the commanders of the late expeditions had 
been cut up in the new quarterly. When I told him, 
that had we carried out our project at the time he was 
lending me his aid — some three or four years ago — the 
Wellington Channel and Polar Sea would now have 
been our own, his reply was, he had found Admiral 
Dundas too hard to deal with. Afterwards I attended 
Professor Owen's lecture at the Collage of Surgeons ; 
in which the Professor, on commencing the history of the 
class mammalia, paid me the compliment of introducing 
my name in a flattering allusion to the late adventurous 





A utobiography , 

i»i ',1 . 

:il i' ' 

voyage I had made to a high latitude, and met with 
traces of the musk-ox, &c. 

April 6th. — I met Charles Enderby most unex- 
pectedly in the Poultry. He returned to England, he 
said, about a week since, and that the whole Auckland 
Islands scheme had been a failure through dissensions in 
the company. But he told me he liked the islands, that 
they were both temperate and productive, the soil rich, 
with fine harbours ; in short, fully answered to the account 
I had given of them in every way. This was satisfac- 

On the 27th I received a very gratifying letter from 
Mr. Grinnel, of New York, who has been such an en- 
thusiastic supporter of the Franklin search. On showing 
it to my friend, John Barrow, in company with whom I 
dined to-day at Kensington Palace Gardens, with his 
brother, Sir George, and Lady Barrow and their family, 
he suggested that I should publish it, and it will be found 
with one from Judge Kane, Dr. Kane's father, and two 
letters fromChisholm Anstey, M.P., to the First Lord of 
the Admiralty, Sir F"rancis Baring, in the Appendix. The 
celebrated architect, Decimus Burton, who was one of the 
eleven who formed the circle at the round table at which 
we dined, gave John Barrow and myself an invitation to 
dine with him next week. On learning from Barrow that 
a promotion was coming out, I urged him in the strongest 
terms to apply for that of my old assistant, Toms, which 
he did. 

May 2)^d. — I received a very flattering letter from 
Judge Kane, the father of the Arctic explorer. I called 
on my friend Hunt, the editor of the Daily News, at 
his club, the Reform, and he told me that he had seen 
Bernal Osborne, the secretary of the Admiralty, who 
had promised him that he would recommend me for pro- 
motion, after many attempts at evasion such as, " There 
were others with longer services," and that "No promotion 

Review of Boat-Voyage in " Fraser^ 335 

was given for scientific services ;" but he acknowledged 
that my character stood very high at the Admiralty, 
Hunt said, " I wanted him to get your promotion for your 
services, and not as a favour to myself, and I think you 
will yet get it." However, whatever Bernal Osborne may 
say, I stand the senior on my list, and have also long 
medical services to back up my scientific ones. Hunt 
seemed sanguine about my promotion, and that it rested 
with Osborne and Sir James Graham, both of whom were 
to be influenced by political motives only. I replied, that 
having being so often disappointed I was less sanguine ; 
and in the sequel I was right, for on my return to my 
lodgings in the evening I found an official letter from the 
Admiralty, containing a negative reply to mine, and ac- • 
companied by a note from Captain Hamilton, expressing 
his regret at my continued disappointments. 

ytme 2nd. — My attention was called by a brother 
officer to a very favourable review of my " Boat Voyage," 
in Frase/s Magazine for the present month. 

Friday, 22^rd. — I removed my mother and sisters from 
Twickenham to Inkermann Cottages, Norbiton. Had 
a very busy day in getting the furniture and things there 
by van, and which took up my time for the next day or 
two in getting in order. 

Jtdy 28///. — I took a copy of my " Boat Voyage " to 
Parker's, West Strand, for the editor, in acknowledg- 
ment of the review of it in Fraser. On the 31st I called 
at the Queen's printer's, and settled with Mr. Scott for 
the extra copies — seventy-three — I had struck off on 
quarto wove paper, twenty-five copies of which I had 
bound up in blue cloth, for presentation to friends who 
had patronized my voyage ; this being all at my own 

Tuesday., August ist. — At ten a.m. I went to Stephen 
Pearce's and had my last sitting for the portrait for Bar- 
row, which occupied three hours, and I left at 1.20 p.m. 

ii ■ 





■ ffl 


: i i 


A utobiography. 




vif if 


On the 5th I received a copy of Creswell's "Views in the 
Discovery of the North-West Passage," from Day's, the 
publishers — a very handsome presentation. 

On Sunday, the 6th, I accompanied my friend and 
brother officer, Dr. M'Bain, to the Zoological Gardens, to 
see the new aquarium. There we met our mutual friend 
D "-C werbank, with whom we dined in the evening at the 
Grove, Islington, and saw his museum of fossils, &c. Sir 
John Herschel was pointed out to me in the Zoological 
Gardens, and this was the only time I saw our celebrated 
astronomer. On the loth I forwarded bound- up copies 
of ';ai. n-uva^'ve to Lady Franklin, Mr. Grinnel, and Judge 

Suturda^ \2th. — I took the train from Euston Square 
5;tation to Oui'liv on a visit to my old friend, Dr. Clark, 
of W \lo\ one ' . ilie few survivors of the battle of 
Trafalgar. At 'Juiu"* . "' fc.nd a chaise ready to take me 
on to his residence at Weldon. On the 17th I dined at 
the rectory with the Honourable and Rev. Mr. Hatton, and 
Lady Louisa Hatton — eleven sat down to table, including 
Dr. Clark and myself. Having passed three weeks very 
agreeably with my old friend in a round of drives in the 
vicinity of the village, I left for town on the 2nd of 
September, and went to Surbiton to see my friends. 

October \oth. — The ships having returned from the 
north, and a promotion in contemplation, I called on my 
friend Barrow, at the Admiralty, and had some talk with 
him as to my own chance of being included in it. His 
opinion was that he feared it would be referred, as a matter 
of course, to the director-general, and but for him he him- 
self felt convinced that the Admiralty would have pro- 
moted me long ago ; and his advice was I should write a 
letter to the Board of Admiralty, and, if possible, put it 
into the hands of Admiral Dundas, the medical lord, which 
I did the next day ; and on the 12th, on seeing Captain 
Hamilton, learnt from him that the Board would not pro- 

Author of the Article ^'Forlorn Hope''' in " Frascr.'' 3 

1 7 

mote me for Arctic service, considering that the only 
claim to the deputy-inspectorship was for medical ser- 
vice and recommendation by the director-general, who 
being my known and acknowledged enemy, seemed very 
like injustice. 

On the 13th I received a very handsome letter from 
my dear old friend Sir Francis Beaufort, and on showing 
it to Mr. Barrow, and telling him the result of the inter- 
view I had with Captain Hamilton yesterday, he said 
the director-general's treatment of me was most shame- 
ful, and advised me to send in testimonials from Sir 
Edward Parry and Sir James Ross ; which I lost no time 
in doing, and very strong ones too. Yesterday I saw the 
new chart in progress at the Hydrographical Office, on 
which Mr. Walker pointed out to me my own name given 
to an inlet in Melville Island, by my friend McClintock. 
On the 28th, meeting Admiral Beaufort in Barrow's 
office, he said, " So, doctor, you are not made inspector- 
general yet. You should get Barrow to make me one 
of the lords, and you would soon get it." Expressed in 
his goodnatured, friendly way. 

On the- 3rd of November I had a long talk with 
Professor Owen, at the College of Surgeons, on the treat- 
ment I had met with at the hands of the Admiralty, 
when I learnt from him that the article in Fraser, under 
the title of " Forlorn Hope," in June last, a review of my 
" Boat Voyage," was written by Mr. Broderip, the barrister 
and London magistrate. Whilst with him, my old friend 
Charles Enderby came in with a magnificent specimen 
of ambergris, worth at least 5/., to show him. 

On the 14th, calling on my good friend John Barrow, 
at the Admiralty, he told me that he had written to the 
director-general to know why I was not promoted, and 
if there was anything against me ; and I learnt from him 
that he received a very stiff reply in return, stating that 
there was nothing for or against me ; that I was a stranger 

i j i 















A utobiography. 


s; < 

( I 

to him, not having seen me for years, except in the 
streets. Barrow added that he was so indignant and 
disgusted with the perusal of it that he tore up the note 
into fragments. 

Saturday, February 2\th, 1855. — Just as I had left the 
Admiralty, when near the " Ship Hotel," I most unex- 
pectedly met my old friend Judge Montagu, with his 
daughter, grown up to a very beautiful girl since I last 
saw her. They had only returned some three months 
ago from the Falkland Islands, and were to sail for 
Sierra Leone on the 23rd of next month, and going from 
thence on to Melbourne. His son, he told me, was in 
the navy, and with the Black Sea fleet. He invited me 
to come and see him at No. 27, Upper Berkeley Street, 
Portman Square. 

Tuesday, March 6th. — At four p.m. I attended Pro- 
fessor Owen's introductory lecture at the College of 
Surgeons, and at eight p.m. Dr. King's lecture on the 
Franklin Search, at the Russell Institute in Great Coram 
Street. After giving a general outline of the search, he 
drew attention to Lieutenant Pim's and my own share in 
the search, adding that had my offer when on the spot 
been accepted, to explore Smith's Sound into the Polar 
Ocean, the present necessity of a search for Dr. Kane 
would have been anticipated ; and he asked why his 
own name and mine were not included in the Arctic 

On the following evening I was invited by Dr. King 
to attend the microscopical meeting at Apothecaries' 
Hall. Met Dr. McWilliam and many other friends 
there. I learnt from McWilliam that the director- 
general would not resign his post at the Admiralty until 
May. On Saturday, the loth, calling on Dr. King, I was 
introduced to Earle, the painter of his beautiful picture 
the " Dog and Moor-hen's Nest." At four p.m., when at 
Owen's lecture at the college, the vice-president, Mr. 



Attend Dr. Kings Lecture. 


tcept in the 
idignant and 
2 up the note 

I had left the 
I most unex- 
igu, with his 
•1 since I last 
three months 
e to sail for 
id going from 
Id me, was in 
e invited me 
rkeley Street, 

ittended Pro- 

le College of 

ecture on the 

Great Coram 

he search, he 

own share in 

on the spot 

nto the Polar 

"or Dr. Kane 

ced why his 

in the Arctic 

by Dr. King 
other friends 
the director- 
imiralty until 
. King, I was 
utiful picture 
p.m., when at 
resident, Mr. 

Hyde Park to 
bound-up " Boat 


South, asked me to dine with him to-day at Blackheath 
Park, to meet our old friend Dr. Daniel), before he again 
departs from us for foreign service. He and I went 
down together by the 5.30 p.m. train. 

Tuesday, 27///. — I walked across 
Berkeley Street with a copy of my 
Voyage " for my friend Algernon 
daughter. Miss Montagu, and his cousin, Mrs. General 
Hartley, at whose house they were staying, received 
me in the drawing-room, and soon afterwards the judge 
himself came in. Whilst he and his daughter were 
looking over the plates of the narrative, I had some talk 
with Mrs. Hartley, a clever woman, the authoress, I 
believe, of several works, if not published, in manuscript, 
and a linguist possessing great vivacity of manner. She 
said my name was a very familiar one to her, and was 
one of the oldest Irish names ; that I bore a striking 
resemblance to a friend of hers in the north of Ireland, 
and, as my father was a native of Tyrone, she thought I 
must belong to the same family. She gave me an invi- 
tation to come and see her drawings and works some 
other time. 

Monday, May i^tli. — I attended Dr. King's lecture at 
the Marylebone Institution. After passing some severe 
censures on the bungling of the Board of Admiralty, 
and the incompetency of the commanders sent out, he 
said the Franklin Expedition might have been saved had 
the Admiralty early in the search permitted my carrying 
out my proposed plan by the Coppermine River, in con- 
junction with his own down the Great Fish River. He 
paid me the compliment of saying I possessed the most 
complete knowledge of the Polar regions, both north and 
south, fitting me for such an enterprise, and that I might 
have had the pick of the best men in the service to 
follow me. 

I ought to have noted in its place, the 1 7th of April 

z 2 



t i 

last, the having removed to Pemba Cottage, Adelaide 
Road, Surbiton, which I furnished, and lived in three 

Thursday, July \Cffh. — I attended the First Lord's, 
Sir Charles Wood's, U'vi^e at the Admiralty. My inter- 
view was of the briefest. He shook hands on my 
entrance, but little passed beyond bows. I placed my 
memorial for promotion in his hands, and, as a voucher 
for the statements therein, having presented him with 
a bound copy of my " Boat Voyage " to refer to at his 
leisure, I bowed and retired. On the 30th I received an 
answer in the negative, as usual. 

Wednesday, April 2^rd, 1856. — The reward of 
10,000/. for the discovery of traces o' the Franklin 
expedition being about to be settled I wrote another 
letter to the Admiralty, accompanied by a memorial of 
my services, asking not for any portion of the reward, 
but my promotion to the deputy-inspectorship, and told 
my friend Barrow that it was now my intention, if pos- 
sible, to get my case before the House of Commons, if 
the Admiralty did not acknowledge my services. He 
said it was quite useless my tnaking any further applica- 
tions to the Board, as they were not gone into, but that 
everything referring to my department was left in 
the hands of the director-general ; and on my putting the 
question to him, as to whether he thought their lordships 
were prejudiced against me personally, he replied em- 
phatically, " No ;" had such been the case, he must have 
known it ; but that it was not unlikely the late director- 
general might have left his sting behind him. 

Saturday, May ^rd. — I called at the Royal Geo- 
graphical Society, on the secretary, Dr. Norton Shaw, 
who gave me a note of introduction to the president, 
Sir Roderick Murchison, which I delivered to him at the 
Museum of Geology, Jermyn Street. Sir Roderick 
promised to write to Admiral Berkeley about my promo- 

Intcn'icw loitli Mr. Mackinnon, M.l\ 


tion.and alsop^ave me an introduction to Mr. Mackinnon, 
M.P., of No. 4, Hyde Park Place, advising me to place 
my testimonials in his hands ; and, shaking hands with 
me, wished me success. 

Monday, ^th. — I went to Mr. Mackinnon's, and had 
an interview with him in his fine picture-gallery. He 
received me very civilly, shaking hands, and introducing 
me to a colonel who was with him at the time. He 
recommended my seeing Mr. Macartney, M.P., who 
was about bringing forward a motion in the House, and 
to call upon him again afterwards. I offered him a 
copy of my " Boat Voyage," which he said he should 
be happy to accept. He told me that in Captain 
Maclure's case, had he not succeeded with it Maclurc 
would have been for ever done at the Admiralty. 
" However," he said, " his was a strong case, and circum- 
stances happened to be very favourable at the moment 
for carrying it through." He added that he did not like 
taking up Colonel Chesney's case, which he had been 
asked to do, lest he might be considered a Don 
Quixote in these matters. I called at once on Mr. 
Macartney, at No. 46, Duke Street, St. James's, but was 
informed that he was at his club, the Carlton, where I 
had an interview with him. But he told me he never 
interfered in Arctic matters, being quite unacquainted 
with the subject, only he had been asked to bring the 
motion forward in the absence of Sir Thomas Dyke 
Acland, for Arctic papers to be laid before the House, at 
the request of Lady Franklin and Miss Cracroft. He 
told me that Mackinnon carried the House by surprise 
in Maclure's case, and that he did not himself approve of 
the claims of officers being brought before the House of 

On the 7th I called again on Mr. Mackinnon, and pre- 
sented him with a copy of my narrative, which he asked 
me to put my name in, and on my pointing out to him his 

> 1 



i . 







U <\ « 

own name on the title-page, he asked if it was in my own 
handwriting, as he said he should treasure up the book. 
This was followed by a long conversation, in which he 
told me that he could not bring my claims before the 
First Lord ; nor did he like to take the initiative steps 
in the House, but should Arctic subjects be again intro- 
duced, and I could get Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, who he 
said was a good man, incidentally to bring forward my 
name on the occasion, he would himself back it up, all in 
his power to do ; shaking me most cordially by the hand 
on leaving, adding that he should always be glad to see me 
at any time. I afterwards called upon my old friend Pro- 
fessor Owen, at the College of Surgeons, and made him ac- 
quainted with my proceedings. He promised me that he 
would see Sir Roderick Murchison in a day or two, and 
discuss with him as to the best way of bringing my 
claims forward. On the loth I called on Mr. Broderip 
at his chambers in Raymond's Buildings, Gray's Inn, to 
thank him for his very flattering and friendly notice of 
my " Boat Voyage," in the very able article he had con- 
tributed to Fraser, under the tide of the " Forlorn Hope," 
and that I had been for some months past puzzled to know 
by whom it was written, till our mutual friend, Owen, 
dispelled the mystery by telling me who it was. He 
said he never wrote anything more from the heart than 
the notice of my narrative in Preiser, and promised to 
write to Murchison about me, and refer him to the article 
" Forlorn Hope " in Fraser. I showed him a copy of my 
letter to the Admiralty and Sir Francis Beaufort, when he 
said he did not wish to make me too sanguine, but he 
thought I must get my promotion now, unless red-tapeism 
stood in the way. He chatted with me in the most 
friendly way about my night in the snow-drift near 
Caswall's Tower, with the thermometer at 32° below zero ; 
making me take his easy chair opposite to his friend and 
relative, to whom he Introduced me in the most flattering 


Jnterviiio loit/i Sir John Licidcll. 


in my own 
p the book. 
1 which he . 
before the 
ative steps 
i<jain intro- 
ind, who he 
"orward my 
it up, all in 
y the hand 
d to see me 
friend Pro- 
ade him ac- 
me that he 
3r two, and 
ringing my 
r. Broderip 
ay's Inn, to 
y notice of 
e had con- 
orn Hope," 
ed to know 
:nd, Owen, 
was. He 
heart than 
romised to 
the article 
copy of my 
rt, when he 
ne, but he 
the most 
drift near 
jelow zero ; 
friend and 
t flattering 

manner. On the 1 2th I again called on Hroderip, and pre- 
sented him with a bound copy of my " Boat Vo)age," 
which he expressed himself much pleased with, and said 
he had written a letter to Murchison, such as he could 
make public use of; passing some caustic remarks on red- 
tapeism and its ill effects, pointing out to his relative, who 
was breakfasting with him, the injustice in my own case, 
saying that the Admiralty had selected me as an able 
and competent surgeon, not only to take charge medically 
of an expedition, but also to command it, thus Involving 
the power of life and death as much as if I had been 
an executive ; and after I had accomplished my object 
successfully, turn round upon me, and say, " We cannot 
promote you, because you are a surgeon." Called on 
Professor Owen at the college afterwards, and gave him 
a bound copy of my narrative, and showed him my 
letter to the Admiralty, which he said was capital, nothing 
could be better ; that its businesslike style was in itself 
a recommendation, and that he would see Murchison 
some day this week about me. 

Next morning, seeing in the MorniviiPost a gazette of 
the promotion of three deputy-inspeci is, for services in 
the fleet during the war with Russia, I lost no time in 
seeing the director-general, Sir John Liddell, who has 
succeeded to that office, about it, and to ask why my own 
claims, at such a favourable opportunity for acknowledging 
them, were again ignored ; telling him that I had read 
the promotion in the papers, with the keenest feelings 
of disappointment and mortification at being again thus 
passed over. He replied, in his usual bland way, that they 
were confined to war services, and, moreover, that he 
knew nothing of it until two days before, when he was 
sent for to report upon the claims of these three officers 
the Admiralty had themselves named for promotion, 
adding that my own was a very hard case, but that his 
was a very difficult position. 


( 'i; 



A utobiog raphy . 


i'. 'i 

If; I 

I . 

On the 22nd I called on Sir Roderick Murchison, who 
told me he had not yet written to Admiral Berkeley, as 
he had promised me, thinking it better to have a personal 
interview with him, but if I would take a seat he would 
write me a note to the secretary, Mr. Bernal Osborne, 
which he read to me, telling me to take it to the Admiralty. 
It asked for promotion because of my distinguished posi- 
tion as a geographer in the search. I afterwards called 
on my old friend Dr. Andrew Smith, the director- 
general of the army medical department, and had about 
half an hour's conversation with him on the two services 
in his office, stating the treatment I had met with from 
the Admiralty. Shaking me heartily by the hand, he 
wished me every success, adding that he should be most 
glad at all times to see me, and that the pass-word, by 
appointment, would be sufficient with his messenger to 
insure me admittance at all times. 

Mouday, 26///. — I again saw my own director-general, 
Sir John Liddell, and told him that all my friends 
believed my promotion rested with him. He replied, 
" I hope they will not get that impression, as it is not 
the case. I strongly recommended you last time at the 
Admiralty ; but their lordships appear more disposed to 
reward present than past services." I replied mine were 
comparatively recent, and that I had been unceasing in 
urging my claims, and that the friends who had so kindly 
moved in my behalf considered my boat voyage alone, 
independent of my other services, both professional and 
to geography and science, ought to claim for me my 
promotion, and that I looked to him, as the head of my 
department, to bring forward my claims on purely 
surgical acquirements, which had gained for me the 
" honorary fellowship " of my college. He said that 
he had received a letter from the vice-president of the 
college, Mr. South, about me, and very strongly recom- 
mending me. Mr. Barrow and everybody else, he said. 

'' <l 

Interview with Sir Rodei'ick Murchison. 


:hison, who 
Berkeley, as 
2 a personal 
It he would 
al Osborne, 
I Admiralty, 
uished posi- 
I'ards called 
le director- 
1 had about 
wo services 
tX. with from 
lie hand, he 
>uld be most 
iss-word, by 
nessenger to 


my friends 

He replied, 

as it is not 

time at the 

disposed to 

d mine were 

jnceasing in 

lad so kindly 

oyage alone, 

essional and 

for me my 

head of my 

on purely 

for me the 

e said that 

ident of the 

ngly recom- 

Ise, he said, 

did the same thing, and what ev( rybody said must be true, 
adding, "And I myself entertained the same opinion from 
the first ; and told Mr. Barrow that you should make 
your application for promotion to the Admiralty, and I 
would do as I have always done, support it ; but that 
Mr. Bernal Osborne's writing to himself was useless, as 
he had no power beyond recommending." From Sir 
John's manner in shaking hands with me as I was 
leaving, my interview, so far as I could judge, had made 
a favourable impression on him, as my friendly sup- 
porters undoubtedly had by his own admission. On the 
28th, calling again upon Sir Roderick Murchison, he 
told me he had done all that he could ; but they were 
a heartless set at the Admiralty. He seemed much 
discouraged with the failure of his efforts to serve me, 
which is not at all surprising. 

Thursday, ynne 26th. — I again attended Sir Charles 
Wood's levde. On handing him my memorial, with Sir 
Francis Beaufort's letter, he read them both, then refer- 
ring to the " Navy List " for my seniority, remarked, 
"Are you the senior surgeon on the list?" I said, 
" Yes, for active service." He replied, " Quite right ; I 
will see Sir John Liddell about you ;" and so ended our 
interview, like so many others, anything but satis- 

Wednesday, December \oth. — I attended Dr. King's 
meeting at the Russell Institute, and took my seat on 
the platform about eight p.m. Dr. King opened the 
meeting with a long s;- jech, followed by one from Lieu- 
icP.ant Pirn ; after him Mr. George A. Findlay spoke ; 
and then I myself rose, and addressed a few words to the 
assemblage. On resuming my seat, Dr. King introduced 
me by name to the audience, paying me the compliment 
of being a sound and cautious geographer, whose 

nions should 


carry great weigh 

\ II 

' m 

11 H 

search. After myself, Mr. John Brown rose, and pointed 



:• 1 

out on the chart his own views in opposition to mine, 
denying that F"ranklin ever went north of Barrow's Strait. 
Brown was followed by Bertholdt Seamann, the natu- 
raHst, in a long speech. There was a good attendance, 
and a fair sprinkling of ladies. I left whilst Dr. King 
was speaking, at ten p.m., to secure my train home. 

On Saturday, the 20th, I went to the last of King's 
lectures at the Marylebone Institute, at eight p.m. 
Met King at the door going in. He made a long 
speech, followed by Pirn ; and next by myself, stating that 
the records alluded to by King could not be too much 
dwelt upon; and I ended by adding that I, for one, 
would never cease to agitate in favour of further search 
so long as there was the shadow of a hope, and that 
whenever the " Blue Peter" was hoisted, would be the 
first to serve, and was warmly cheered. Afterwards a 
gentleman near the platform made some remarks about 
Arctic men not entering into the discussion, when Dr. King 
rose and said that Mr. McCormick, who had just spoken, 
was the most experienced amongst Arctic officers, having 
been at both the Poles, 

yanuary %th, 1857. — I laid my last plan of search, by 
Ballot's Strait to King William's Land, before the Admi- 
ralty, offering myself to conduct it, and accompanied by 
a note to Barrow. I also put a copy of it into the 
hands of Sir Roderick Murchison, to lay before the Geo- 
graphical Society. On the 3rd of February, on going to 
the society to see Dr. Shaw, the secretary, he told me that 
Sir Roderick had given him my plan of search to record, 
which I found had been done in due form. 

April \st. — Calling on Mr. Weir, the editor of the 
Daily News, to ask him to review Dr. Armstrong's narra- 
tive of his voyage, I found him confined to the couch 
in his office, very ill, poor fellow, and indeed in a hope- 
less condition ; when he replied, " Will you review it 
for me ? I sliali esteem it a favour." And on the 20th 

Attend Her Majesty's Lcv6e. 


I went to his office again with the review I had written ; 
and after he had heard it, I asked him if he saw anything 
to alter. He replied, not a word ; that he liked it much. 
On the 23rd it appeared in print, filling about three 
columns of the paper. 

May 1 2th. — A beautiful young barn owl I had scarcely 
had a year, which, from his extraordinary intelligence and 
affectionate disposition, had so attached me to him as to 
become a great pet, died in my hand about midnight. He 
had been very ill throughout the day, and died in convul- 
sions, and all my efforts to preserve the life of the poor 
" Major," as I had named him, proved unavailing. 

June i8t/i. — Being the Waterloo anniversary I at- 
tended her Majesty's tev^e, wearing the "Arctic Medal" 
I had lately received for the first time, some eighteen 
years having passed away since I was last at court, being 
then my first presentation. 

On July 2nd I attended the First Lord's levie at the 
Admiralty at four p.m. Sir Charles Wood rose from his 
seat, offering his hand, and desiring me to be seated. 
As this was our third interview, I reminded him of 
his promise last year to see Sir John Liddell, and go into 
my claims ; adding, I had hoped now to have had the 
gratification of thanking him for my promotion, instead 
of having to trouble him again with a repetition of my 
services. And as he took up the " Navy List" to refer to 
my name, I remarked that he would find it, heading the 
"active list;" at the same time calling his attention to 
the " deputy-inspectors' list," that out of the fifteen 
officers comprising it, fourteen were my juniors as sur- 
geons; and that even in the "inspectors' list," four out 
of the six had been junior to me as surgeons ; that I 
had been engaged in three Polar voyages, served three 
times in the West Indies ; had been thirty-four years in 
the service, thirty of which as surgeon ; had been a 
volunteer both for the Baltic and Black Sea fleets, at the 



A utobiography. 



commencement of the war, on my return from the Arctic 
regions. I then bowed and retired, leaving his lordship 
making notes of what I had said. 

January 2,0th, 1858. — I attended the Queen's draw- 
ing room at St. James's Palace, the first I had ever been 
at. On Wednesday, the 7th of July, I was elected a 
member of the Junior United Service Club without a 
single " black-ball " in the box, for there has been 
some "black-balling" of late of the candidates amongst 
the militia. On the 19th of February, 1859, I 
proposed my old friend Dr. Daniell, now absent on 
foreign service in the army, seconded by Dr. Dobie, a 
brother officer of mine. On the 25th I went to the 
House of Commons ; had a seat in the Strangers' Gallery. 
There was a full house, to hear Lord Palmerston's motion 
on the state of Europe ; after which, at 6.30 p.m., Sir 
John Pakington rose, and sat down again at nine p.m. 
In giving the Naval Estimates, he paid the naval sur- 
geons a very high compliment, and pledged himself to 
grant them the " warrant " in spirit and in substance. I 
left the House sitting at 1.30 a.m. 

On Thursday, the 24th of March, I removed from St. 
John's Wood to Wimbledon, having taken a newly-built 
villa but just finished, in a new road called Ridgway 

On the 20th of May, 1859, I was at last promoted 
to the deputy-inspectorship on the " Active List," on 
the very eve of the "new warrant" coming out. After 
so many repeated disappointments and hopes deferred, 
till it was literally " hoping against hope," I was in the 
"eleventh hour," when least expecting it, one morning 
surprised by reading in my morning paper, the Standard, 
at breakfast-time, the talismanic word^, " promoted to 
deputy-inspector-general," attached to my name. Such 
was the medium through which I first became acquainted 
with my promotion. On meeting my old brother 

A >i 

^t Last ! Promotion to Deputy-Inspector-General. 349 

officer, Dr. McWilliam, of Niger Expedition celebrity, 
he warmly congratulated me with a hearty shake 
of the hand, and said my promotion had given great 
satisfaction to the Service, and that I owed it to no 
one but myself and my own determined energy^ con- 
demning the late director-general's conduct towards me 
in no measured terms of censure and contempt. Upon 
my calling upon the present director-general, Sir John 
Liddell, to ask him to whom I owed this somewhat tardy 
acknowledgment of my past services, he replied at once, 
"Entirely to Sir John Pakington;" and, shaking hands 
with me, said, " Are you satisfied now, and have you got 
what you want ?" I replied," I must be so ; but had the pre- 
sent step been conferred on me at the time the services I 
had rendered claimed it for me, I should now have been at 
the top of the ' inspectors' list,' instead of at the bottom 
of the deputy-inspectors, nearly all the inspectors on 
the list having been my juniors in the service, and 
with no very unusual or extraordinary claims.'' To this 
he remarked that many of these promotions were 
" accidental." 

On the 25th of June I attended her Majesty's levde at 
St. James's Palace on my promotion, having previously 
waited upon the Duke of Somerset, the new First Lord, at 
his residence in Wimbledon, he having not yet entered 
upon his official duties. I delivered a letter of introduction 
to him from my old friend Sir Roderick Murchison, when 
he kindly signed my ticket for the lev6e, being the only 
one, I believe, signed by his Grace, with the exception of 
Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, during the interregnum 
occasioned by the change of ministry. I wore at the 
lev^e, for the first time, the new deputy-inspector-general's 
uniform, that of a post-captain, with the exception of 
having a crown with a star, instead of the anchor, &c., on 
the epaulettes, and the coat single-breasted. 

February yth, i860. — Dr. Daniell, now absent in the 





1 4 




A utobiog raphy. 


China war, whom I proposed on the 1 9th of February last, 
was this day elected a member of our club, the Junior 
United Service. 

On Thursday, the 5th of April, I attended the First 
Lord's lev4e. I was the first on the list, and on entering 
the room the Duke of Somerset rose from his seat, shook 
hands, and requested me to be seated. I presented 
his Grace with a copy of my " Boat Voyage " in search 
of Franklin, adding that since last year, when through 
his kind consideration I was enabled during the minis- 
terial interregnum to attend the Queen's lev^e on my pro- 
motion, presented by himself, the fate of the Franklin 
Expedition had been discovered, the plan of search for 
which had originated with myself, I having drawn it up 
and had it laid before the Geographical Society by its 
president, Sir Roderick Murchison, and also had laid it 
before the late Board of Admiralty, with an offer on my 
own part to conduct it — a few copies of which I had now 
bound up with the narrative of my boat expedition for 
private circulation amongst a few friends interested in the 
search. The plan itself had been ably carried out to 
the very letter most successfully by my friend, Captain 
McClintock, R.N., under the patronage of Lady Franklin, 
in a ship of her own. The duke accepted the book, 
thanked me, and on opening it remarked, on looking over 
the plates, "It is very nicely got up, and an interesting 
subject." On my rising to go, his Grace got up from his 
own chair, and again shook me by the hand. 

June 6th. — I called on the Baron Marochetti, when 
he showed me the bust of Sir John Pakington, and the 
statuettes in terra-cotta and plaster-of- Paris, in his studio ; 
I selected one of the terra'-cottas for myself as a sub- 
scriber to the bust. 

On November 28th I removed my mother and sisters 
from St. John's Wood to Fir Villa, Surbiton, which I 
had taken for them. 


ed the First 

Death of my Mother and Mr. John Brown. 351 

On February 7th, 1861, my poor dear old friend John 
Brown, of Scalesby Lodge, died of congestion of the 
lungs ; he was an old and most valuable Fellow of the 
Geographical Society, and the author of the best work on 
the Franklin search. I saw him during his illness and 
on the day before his death, and attended his funeral at 
the Highgate Cemetery, where he was buried. John 
Barrow, John Arrowsmith, Dr. Norton Shaw, and both 
the Findlays, father and son, were at the funeral. A 
better man never lived, generous and warm-hearted, and 
a staunch friend. 

March i \th. — When dining with my landlord, Mr. 
Mackeril, a solicitor, of No. 25, Abingdon Street, at his 
residence in the Wandsworth Road, I expressed a desire 
to become owner of the villa I had resided in for the last 
two years, and although he said he did not wish to part 
with any of his property in this road, most of the houses 
belonging to him, he met my wishes, and the house 
became my own by purchase on the 21st of May. 

April ytk. — I made an excursion to Boulogne, going 
by the Panther, on the Sunday, and returning by the 
Maude, on Tuesday, the 9th, to Folkestone ; stopped at 
the " Hotel de 1' Europe," Boulogne. 

Jtme i^tk. — Accompanied my old friend. Dr. Daniell, 
to the British Museum, where he gave me a specimen of 
the New Tartary oak he discovered, and had named 
after me. 

Augtist <)th. — My poor mother breathed her last at 
Surbiton, and I alone attended her funeral on the r5th at 
Kensal Green. 

May %th, 1862. — I attended the Duke of Somerset's 
levie at the Admiralty ; it was a very hurried affair, I was 
the eighth on his Grace's list, and the interviews with 
that number did not occupy half an hour. He seemed to 
have made the audience of the briefest with all, from 
what I heard. On my asking him for my promotion to 



' fi' 


A iitobiography 

» -'!»' 

the inspectorship specially for special claims, all he said 
was, " Very well." 

On Friday, July nth I entered the great exhibition 
for the first time, having taken a season ticket. 

On February 19th, 1863, I again made my appearance 
at the Admiralty, at the duke's lev6e. I reminded him 
of my special claims to the inspectorship for Polar ser- 
vice, and also stated that having annually sent in my 
offer to serve, and now seeing no hope of being per- 
mitted to complete the required five years for the next 
step, at my age, I hoped this would be taken into 
consideration. His Grace replied, " I will make a note 
of your claims." 

On the 25th I made my first appearance at the 
Prince of Wales' levde^ at St. James's Palace. 

May ^th, 1864. — I once more paid what has now 
become my annual visit to the Duke of Somerset's 
levee at the Admiralty. I happened to be nearly the 
last on the list, and, walking up to the table, placed 
my memoir in his Grace's hands, then bowed and 

On the 30th of March, 1865, I again presented my- 
self at the Duke of Somerset's levie, at the risk of 
being considered importunate ; but when without power- 
ful friends or political influence, it will not do to " lay 
on one's oars " in the struggle for advancement in this 
life. And as the duke had given as his only reason 
for not promoting me my not having served the regula- 
tion five years, on his requesting me to be seated, I 
referred him to the Order in Council of the a 6th of 
November, 1858, which provides for the special pro- 
motion to inspectorial rank for meritorious services, 
without having served the usual time. He then took 
up the Navy List, and from it made some memoranda 
in his note-book ; saying at the same time that he should 
be most glad to meet my wishes, were he not so pressed 

Surveyed at Somerset House. 



by others with long services that he could not say he 
would depart from the rules of the service. I said I 
was fully aware of the difficult position he was placed 
in, and consequently should not so urgently have pressed 
my claims at the present moment, had not my position 
on the active list become so critical a one that any future 
retirement scheme might shelve me at once, without 
any recognition whatever of past claims. Feeling, as I 
did, active and as fit as ever for service, my sole wish 
to avert my compulsory retirement ; and from 
promotion to the inspectorship could alone secure 
by giving me five years longer on the active 
The duke replied that he quite understood 
and patiently heard all I had to say, during a 
longer interview than ordinary, some ten or fifteen 

The realization of my anticipations and apprehensions 
of being shelved occurred sooner indeed than might have 
been expected. On the 14th of the following July I was 
summoned to appear at Somerset House to be surveyed, 
notwithstanding I had already answered a letter, stating 
my fitness and readiness to serve whenever called upon. 
And now I could only repeat this viva voce. When the 
present director-general, who succeeded Sir John Liddell, 
asked me if I was willing to go to Hong-Kong, my answer 
was, " Yes, I am, or anywhere else in any part of the 
world, or with the Channel Fleet, or, for that matter, to 
the North Pole again if required, although I did not get 
my last step in rank until sixteen years after it had been 
earned in the voyage to the Antarctic Seas, and since 
then, although I had annually offered to serve, no oppor- 
tunity was afforded me for serving my five years for the 
inspectorship, and I had even been removed from the 
William and Mary yacht at the expiration of three years 
without any equivalent compensation being offered me ; 
yet the yacht was considered a life appointment whtn I 

* , 

If! I 

r \< m 



A a 

i i 


A utobiograp/iy. 

i . 


joined her." He ajrain asked me if I was ready to go to 
any part of the world as well as to Hong-Kong. Cer- 
tainly, I said, rather than be shelved, and asked him if 
that was the object of the survey held on me. He said 
he could not answer that question, as they — meaning his 
assistant in the office, who was leaning against the 
mantelpiece— did not know what was done at the other 
house in Whitehall (Admiralty). After this there could 
be no doubt whatever of the intention of the authorities 
to shelve me. Consequently no time was to be lost in 
moving what friends I had to checkmate them in this, if 
possible. I at once called upon my old friend. Professor 
Owen, at Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park, on the following 
day but one. There I met, and was introduced to Mr., 
Mrs., and Miss Roebuck, who were making a morning 
call. As the professor and Mrs. Owen insisted on my 
staying to dinner, it afforded me a favourable opportunity 
of making him acquainted with the shabby treatment I 
had met with at Somerset House, when he kindly offered 
to see General Sabine about me, and eventually gave me 
a note to him, asking him, as President of the Royal 
Society, and himself about the last of the old Arctic men, 
to lay my memorial before the First Lord. With this 
I called at Ashley Place, Pimlico, when General Sabine, 
after reading it, remarked that it was a very strong case, 
but the difficulty lay in the way of bringing it before the 
P"irst Lord. He thought it would not do to put it into his 
hands himself, and wished first to see the secretary of the 
Royal Society and get a minute made of it there, as he 
wished to write a strong letter, and would forward it to 
my club before he himself left town to-morrow for a six 
weeks' tour in Wales. He remarked on the Order in 
Council for special promotion, that mine was, in reality, a 
case in point to meet it ; and added that he had had 
much to do with the Antarctic expedition, and could 
answer for me himself. I was altogether received very 



Attend the Duke of Somerset's last " Lev(fc." 355 

kindly. Mrs. Sabine rose from her seat and shook hands 
on my departure, after nearly an hour's visit, and the 
general himself accompanied mt to the door, giving me 
a hearty shake of the hand. On the 26th I i)laccd my 
memorial, with Owen's and Sabine's letters, in Captain 
Hall's hands, at the Admiralty. 

y^u/y 29///. — I received a letter from the Admiralty, 
stating that I was placed on the retired list, and on the 
I ith of August a refusal to place my name on the retired 
list of inspectors. 

Noveviber i^tk. — I placed a copy of my suggestions 
for the improvement of the medical service of the navy 
in the hands of the commissioners now sitting on that 

On the 16th I called on Mr. Mackeril, No. 25, 
Abingdon Street, and purchased of him No. 2 Villa, 
opposite to my own in Ridgway Place. On the 9th 
of March I attended the last levi'e of the Duke of Somer- 
set, and during some five minutes I had to explain every- 
thing in reference to my late compulsory retirement. 
His Grace patiently and quietly listened to me, offering 
me a seat, and on my placing in his hands a copy of my 
narrative, to which I had recently added my printed 
testimonials, he remarked, " You gave me a copy some 
time ago." So that it appears his Grace does not forget 
things at all events, for seven years have elapsed since 
then. I observed that it was very discouraging to find 
two brother officers, who had decidedly refused the 
appointment to Hong-Kong, given the honorary rank of 
inspector because they chanced to have completed the 
time for it, whilst my own name was ignored because 
I fell somewhat short of the regulation time, although a 
willing volunteer for Hong-Kong. I said I hoped at 
least I had some claim to the Greenwich Hospital 
pension, the only thing left me now. 

On the 26th of September, the Greenwich Hospital 

A a 2 



A utobiography. 


!!. I" 


* , ; '•■ . 

Pension becoming vacant, I applied to the Admiralty 
for it, but with no better success than when I asked 
the Duke of Somerset for the first one given at his last 
levde. It was given away on the 12th of October. On 
the 1 6th of May, 1867, I attended Mr. Corry's (the new 
First Lord) lev^e. He rose from his seat, shook hands, 
and asked me to be seated. I asked him at once to 
place my name on the retired list of inspectors, and 
pointed out to him that the only Greenwich Hospital 
pension for deputy-inspectors had both times been con- 
ferred upon honorary inspectors, and that I had been 
most unjustly treated by the late Board. He replied he 
would see the director-general on the subject. I said 
that would be of no use, as I believed the injustice 
originated in that quarter. I offered him a copy of my 
narrative, in which, if he would glance at the appendix, 
he would find my long Polar services therein stated. 
" Polar services," he re-echoed, as if somewhat surprised, 
strange as it may be, and thanking me, said he should be 
glad to read the whole. He then added he would see 
the lord who presided over our department, about me, 
who, he believed, was Sir John Hay. On my rising to 
go he got up from his chair and again shook hands with 

On the 30th of September I left by the train from 
Charing Crc^i, accompanied by a friend, for Paris, to see 
the great Pans Exhibition, v\k Folkestone and Boulogne ; 
stayed at the " Hotel Brighton." Entered the exhibi- 
tion on the 1st of October, and after devoting four days 
to exploring it and the magnificent grounds around • 
returned on the 5th, viA Calais. After my retu 
confined to my room by a dangerous illness, a couK. 
not leave the house until the 13th of January, ibt , when 
I went over the way to see my sisters, being the fir.^ 
time I had been out of the door for a month past. 

On Tuesday, the 5th of May, 1 attended my last 

c Admiralty 
hen 1 asked 
en at his last 
ictober. On 
■y's (the new 
ihook hands, 
n at once to 
pectors, and 
ich Hospital 
es been con- 

I had been 
4e replied he 
bject. I said 

the injustice 
L copy of my 
the appendix, 
lerein stated, 
hat surprised, 

he should be 
le would see 
nt, about me, 

my rising to 
)k hands with 

le train from 
Paris, to see 

nd Boulogne ; 
the exhibi- 

ng four days 
s around 

reti' ' 

ss, a couiu 

y, ibt , when 

eing the fir' 

1 past. 

ded my last 

The Greenwich Hospital Pension con/erred upon me. 357 

Admiralty Icvde. The interview with Mr. Corry this 
time did not exceed five minutes, and the whole of the 
twenty-five officers about an hour. Mr. Corry, when the 
messenger announced my name, was standing by the 
table, bending over some papers. He moved towards 
his chair, extending his hands, and motioned me to a seat 
opposite to himself. I reminded him of his promise to 
see Sir John Hay about me. He replied, he did not 
know whether he had done so or not, and making a note 
in his memorandum-book, very emphatically said, " I'll 
make a point of seeing him now." On my stating that 
I was the only one retired of all the Polar men of every 
grade whose services remained wholly unrecognized, 
his memory would appear to have failed him so much 
since our last interview that he actually asked me if I 
was not still on the active list ; when I placed in his 
hands a copy of my last year's memorial, bowed and 

On the 3rd of September, 1876, the Greenwich Hos- 
pital Pension once more becoming vacant, I again applied 
for it, and on the i J th of October it was at last con- 
ferred upon me, thus adding to my annual income 80/. 
a year. However desirable this boon may have been to 
me in a pecuniary sense, had the promotion to the rank 
of inspector-general, the highest step in our department 
of the service, accompanied it, such an honorary distinc- 
tion would have enhanced the value of the pecuniary 
reward, inasmuch as the executive class of officers on 
retirement have a step in rank conferred upon them with- 
out any claims to special service being required of them. 
So that in my own case, services so much out of the ordi- 
nary routine, and which I may, perhaps, without presump- 
tion, term unique in character, as I think these memoirs 
will amply testify, might claim for their author the 
high step available without any additional expense to 
the ' iitry. 


,!» I 









Therefore, on the return of the recent expedition, under 
the command of Captain Sir George Nares, from the 
attempt to reach the North Pole, the very liberal pro- 
motion of the officers engaged in it encouraged me, on 
the 6th of the following December, to make a final effort 
to reach the too of the tree, the ambition of all, by 
addressing a memorial to Mr. Ward Hunt, then First 
Lord of the Admiralty, asking him, in consideration of my 
long and varied services, to place my name on the list 
of inspectors-general for honorary rank only, forward- 
ing him at the same time a private copy of the narra- 
tive of my boat voyage up the Wellington Channel in 
search of Sir John Franklin. This, my final effort, was 
also unsuccessful. .\ , " 

In resummg my autobiography from the year 1 8 76, there 
have been few incidents worth recording ; but to preserve 
an unbroken chain of events, I will bring them down to 
the present time. Towards the close of that year, death 
removed an old friend and neighbour of mine, Sir Alexan- 
der Campbell, Bart., of Barcaldine, N.B. His widow, the 
daughter of the late Admiral Collier, was a niece of the 
late Admiral Sir Francis Collier, under whose command 
1 had formerly served in her Majesty's yacht, William 
and Mary^ at the time he was superintendent of Wool- 
wich Dockyard. Lady Campbell, with her two daughters 
and her eldest son, the present Sir Duncan Campbell, 
Bart., are still my neighbours, and their continued 
friendly visits tend to relieve the quiet seclusion in 
which I live ; together with an occasional visit or letter 
from my old and esteemed friend, John Barrow, whose 
name so frequently appears in these pages, and who, 
sir.ce his retirement from the Admiralty, has been one 
of the most zealous and enthusiastic supporters of the 
volunteer force, from which he has now retired with 
the rank of colonel, and who is as ardent as ever in the 
cause of Arctic discovery. My young friend, D'Eyncourt 

. -^j:^' 

iition, under 
3, from the 
liberal pro- 
iged me, on 
a final effort 
1 of all, by 
then First 
ration of my 
: on the list 
ly, forward- 
f the narra- 
Channel in 
1 effort, was 

an 8 76, there 
t to preserve 
lem down to 
t year, death 
. Sir Alexan- 
s widow, the 
niece of the 
ise command 
It, William 
nt of Wool- 
^o daughters 
seclusion in 
isit or letter 
rrow, whose 
, and who, 
IS been one 
rters of the 
'etired with 
ever in the 

Description of a remarkable Duck. 


Chamberlain, the son of a retired paymaster-in-chief 
of the navy, also visits me whenever he can spare 
time from his medical studies at University College, 
where he is preparing to enter the navy as a surgeon, and 
whose mother was the daughter of very old friends of 
my youth ; and last, though not least, the occasional 
correspondence with the three sons of my late lamented 
old friend, John Brown, who was a distinguished fellow 
of the Royal Geographical Society, and the author of 
the best work on tlie F"ranklin Search. 

I have somewhat entered into minor details here to 
give the reader an insight into my domestic life, whilst em- 
ployed in preparing my work for the press ; and some 
description of the very remarkable pet white Aylesbury 
duck, the lithograph of which comes in at the end of 
these memoirs, may claim a place here, from her having 
assumed in old age the curled tail-feathers of the drake, 
a unique, I believe, and interesting fact for the ornitho- 


The " Duchess," as she has been called, is a Insus 
nahirce and vara avis amongst ducks, which I have 
never before met with, nor, as far as I can ascer- 
tain, have the authorities of the Ornithological Depart- 
ments of the South Kensington Museum of Natural 
History. . . . , 

Her history is as follows: she was presented to me 
when a little duckling, clothed in yellow down, only ten 
days old, in the month of May, 1S70, and is consequently 
in her fourteenth year, being the only survivor of a 
brood of eggs — and fromthe finest white Aylesbury breed — 
hatched under a hen. From the first she showed marked 
features of originality, intelligence, and observation, and 
a wonderful memory, an affectionate nature, and sociable 
disposition. She sleeps in a wicker-basket made espe- 
cially for her, and has now, in her old age, forsaken the 
garden and the duck-pond, living entirely within doors. 

|! , 


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"': J 

hi ' ' 

f, M 

Her favourite place is upon a cushion, made from her own 
feathers, on the hearth-rug before the sitting-room fire ; 
and on a winter's evening, after the lamp has been 
Hghted, on my rising from my chair, where I may have 
been writing or reading, for a turn up and down the 
room, on my saying to her, " Ducky, come and have 
a quarter-deck walk," she will at once answer me in her 
own peculiar tone of voice, leave her cushion, and waddle 
up and down the room, close at my heels, and at each 
turn pull at my slipper with her beak, as much as to say, 
" Go on," till she is tired out, when she will suddenly stop, 
look up at me with an expression that would say, " There, 
that is enough for once." She understands all I say to 
her, as a dog would do, being equally sagacious and com- 
panionable. Her control over her voice, in modulating its 
tones to express her feelings, is most extraordinary, from 
her customary soft and pleasing notes to a sharp rebuke, 
when displeased, that indeed, from long observation of her 
and her ways, I have no difficulty in interpreting all 
her wants and wishes. 

She commenced laying before the end of her first 
year, and so prolific has she been, that during the first 
year, she laid about 1 20 eggs, and not a less number in 
successive seasons until her tenth year, when, showing a 
strong desire to sit, I procured for her, from Daily's of 
Mount Street, four eggs, of ornamental ducks, but after 
sitting on them with the greatest assiduity for the usual 
period, they all turned out bad. On my acquaint- 
ing Daily with the disappointment she had been sub- 
jected to, he sent me six ducklings in a basket, hatched 
in il.e morning of the day on which I received them 
at nine p.m., and having at once placed them under 
her in her basket, she readily took to them and reared 
them as her own, three of them at least, a mallard 
and duck of the wild breed, and a white ''call-duck" 
the other three died in the first week, probably from 

5.: \ 

Change of Plumage in Age. 


her having laid upon them. The wild duck, an intelli- 
gent, very pretty creature, died last autumn of a chronic 
disease of some standing, only five years old. 

The two pairs of curled tail-feathers which normally 
distinguish the drake from the duck, in the white 
Aylesbury breed, made their first appearance in the 
"Duchess" during her autumnal moult in 1880, in her 
tenth year, after she had ceased laying, since which she 
has shed, and reproduced them twice a year in her annual 
moults ; but they were most perfect in form and size 
in the first two years, since which they have decreased in 
size and form, and become more feeble in appearance each 
succeeding moult. Her last eggs laid were somewhat 
abnormal in form, elongated, and kidney-shaped. This 
singular change in age to the plumage of the male is 
evidently due to some change in the condition of the 

She is as companionable and sociable as the dog, and 
will fellow me in my walks anywhere. If I ask her to 
shake hands with me, she will at once place her beak in 
the palm of my hand, accompanied by a peculiarly pleased 
chuckle ; is as lively and playful as ever, though some- 
what tottering and unsteady in her gait, and does not 
now leave her basket in the corner of the room until 
past midday. Her appetite is good, but requires con- 
stant change, variety of food, and frequent baths. 

At night her supper is invariably bread and milk, but 
during the day watercresses, wheat, boiled chestnuts, 
macaroni, tea and sugar, of which she is very fond, 
and many other things she has been taught to take by 
the members of my household, with all of whom she is 
such a pet and favourite — there is nothing they will not 
do for her. 

When Mr. Edwin Wilson came down to Wimble- 
don to take her likeness for the lithograph — which 
he ultimately finished at the Kensington Museum — 

I I 


A utobiog raphy. 


in which he has so happily caught the intelligent glance 
of her expressive eye, he was much astonished that 
whilst her likeness was being taken, she stood on the 
table between three and four hours, as if she thoroughly 
understood what was going on, by the calm, intelligent 
glances with which she eyed him, and he remarked that she 
was a better sitter than many of us would have been, so 
self-possessed was she throughout the whole of the time. 
I hope that the somewhat lengthy description I have 
been led into, by the animus which has impelled me 
to bring under the ornithologist's notice especially so 
unique a specimen of a remarkable aberration from 
nature's laws, will not tire the reader's patience, more 
particularly as I cannot dismiss the subject without call- 
ing attention to the little bird with uplifted wings on the 
cushion beside the " Duchess," — a hen sparrow, called 
" Polly," as imique in some respects, which 1 had for above 
seven years. I picked her up in the garden an unfledged 
nestling, — another example of what may be accomplished 
by kindness and training. This companionable,affectionate 
little creature, although with the full use of her wings, 
and the whole run of the house, with windows and doors 
necessarily open, never once attempted to avail herself 
of the many opportunities she had of makinfj her 
escape, tempting as must have been the attraction of 
the society of her race in the garden, more especially 
during the pairing season. Yet she laid several eggs 
in a nest I placed for her over the staircase window. 
Poor thing ! she was destined to meet with a sad end, 
being crushed by the closing of a door, at the moment 
she was passing from one room to another, in January, 
1869. She always took her meals on the table with 
me, and would perch ■ my head or shoulder when 
reading or writing, and sit and plume herself much in 
the way as the sparrow, described in Professor Wil- 
son's — Christopher North — life by his daughter, which, 

A Pd Sparrow— Conclusion. 


she tells us, would perch on the professor's shoulder 
whilst reading or writing in his study, and pull his grey 
hairs, and appears to have been his constant companion 
in his studies. 

Whilst correcting these proof-sheets, I accidentally 
came across a quotation in the translation of a French 
work in my library, stating that Yarrell had met with 
two instances of curling feathers in the tail of the wild 
duck, but no mention is made by him of the Aylesbury 

As I was bringing this Autobiography to a close I 
wrote to my old friend Sir Richard Owen, to congratulate 
him on his being recently created a K.C.B. I received 
a reply in so friendly a spirit, leaving me to my own dis- 
cretion as to printing it, that I venture to introduce the 
letter as a conclusion. 

Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park, 
\yJi Jmuiary, 1884. 

Dear McCormick, — Few congratulations have been 
more gratefully received than yours, and not any of them 
gave me such pleasure as your announcement of the 
completion of your long-looked-for, valuable, and most 
interesting work. A welcome record that will be of those 
Arctic explorations, which will ever brightly adorn the 
annals of the British Empire. 

I wish I was as far advanced in my big book on British 
Fossil Reptiles, which will be in four quartos, two of text, 
two of plates. 

May I live to see it out, and may yours be brightened 
by lecognitions for years to come of your bold and 
exemplary devotion to Arctic geography. Again thank- 
ing you, 


leve me, ever 

truly y 



Richard Owen. 


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HUNT, M.P., First Lord of the Admiralty, etc. 

Ridgway Place, Wimbledon, 
December 6th, 1876. 

My Lord, — i. From the deep interest your Lordship has 
evinced in Polar Discovery, and from the very liberal promotion 
of the officers returned from the recent attempt to reach the 
North Pole, under your Lordship's administration ; 

2. I am encouraged to venture to hope that my own humble 
services when belonging to H.M.S. Hccla, in the late Sir Edward 
Parry's attempt to reach that Pole, now some fifty years ago, 
may at such a favourable moment as the present, obtain for me 
the promotion I have so long been ambitious of obtaining — the 
elevation to the highest rank in the department of the service 
in which I have spent my best days. Such a reward, in my 
declining years, and still faster declining health, would, I need 
scarcely say, be appreciated by me as the greatest boon that 
your LOrd.ship could bestow on one, all but the last surviving 
officer of an expedition, which, if it failed in reaching the Pole 
under so good and able a commander as the late Sir Edward 
Parry, was simply owing to the wrong season of the year having 
been selected for boating and sledge operations, with a stron" 
current drifting them back to the south again. 

3. Nevertheless, my own conviction is that the Spitzbergen 
Sea will be found the high road to the North Pole, which will 
be attained by that route sooner or later. The Gulf Stream, the 
comparatively open sea at intervals, with a current from the 
Pole, and many other circumstances all point to this. Whilst 
the heavy accumulated Polar pack, resting, as it does, on the 
northern shores of Greenland, and extending across Smith's 

41 'I 




366 Letter to the Right Hon. George Ward Hunt, M.P. 


Sound, Grant's Land, and the Wellington Channel, to the Parry 
Islands, remains impenetrable. 

4. I trust, my Lord, that your Lordship will exonerate me 
from the charge of presumption in thus digressing, which I do 
most respectfully, to venture an opinion of my own as to the 
causes and in defence of the unavoidable failure of one whose 
name I so revere and esteem as that of my old commander the 
late Sir Edward Parry, foremost of Arctic explorers. The only 
excuse I have to offer your Lordship is the circumstances of the 
moment, and my own devotion to the Polar discovery from my 
earliest youth ; and to the executive line of the service for which 
I had been originally intended by my father, whose untimely 
loss as an officer of H.M.S. Defence, of seventy-four guiis, 
wrecked on the coast of Jutland, prevented from being carried 

5. I have served in three Polar expeditions, the one in the 
attempt to reach the South Pole, in which three years and more 
were spent in buffeting with the vast packs of ice in the Ant- 
arctic Seas, which was rendered ever memorable by the di'covery 
of a southern continent. Yet I was the only officer (eligible) 
left unpromoted. Notwithstanding which I subsequently com- 
manded an open-boat expedition up the Wellington Channel in 
search of my old ships the Erebus and Terror, under the com- 
mand of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin, and I never lost a man 
by sickness, or had a true case of scurvy in all these voyages, 
extending altogether over the long period of some seven years, 
with intervening services in the Tropics, embracing three stations 
in the West Indies. 

6. I am, too, the oldest officer of inspectorial rank, and obtained 
the full Surgeon's rank before any of the Inspectors or Deputy- 
Inspectors on the Navy List. I may also state that, in addition 
to my ordinary medical duties, in all these voyages I voluntarily 
performed those of Naturalist and Geologist. My tardy ad- 
vancement to the Deputy-Inspectorship when I was nearly sixty 
years of age, proved an insuperable barrier in the way of my 
serving the time required for the Inspectorship. Having had 
the honour of receiving my first step in rank to Surgeon from 
our late naval king, William IV., when Lord High Admiral, 
it would be to me, towards the close of life, a most gratifying 
climax to a long Polar career, should your Lordship and my 

Letter to the Right Hon. George Wctrd Hunt, M.P. 367 

Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who have so recently 
most considerately awarded me the vacant "Greenwich Hospital 
Pension," be pleased to confer on me the final step in rank in my 
profession as a " special " reward. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's humble and obedient Servant, 
Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets, Retired. 

The Right Hon. George Ward Hunt, M.P., 

First Lord of the Admiralty, &c., &c., &c. 

ing carried 





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Admiralty, i6th December, 1876. 

Sir, — In reply to your letter of the 6th inst., praying that in 
consideration of your former Arctic services under Sir Edward 
Parry, you may be granted the honorary rank of Inspector- 
General, I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty to acquaint you that they regret they cannot comply 
with your request ; the fact of your never having served in your 
present rank, renders you ineligible for advancement to a higher 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

(Signed) ROBKRT IL\LL. 

R. McCormick, Esq., 
Retired Deputy Inspector-General, R.N. 
Ridgway Place, Wimbledon. 

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No. I. 

OUTI.INK of a Plan of an Overland Joumoy to the Polar Sea, 
by the Way of the Coppermine River, in Search of Sir 
John Franklin'.s Expedition, 1847 

Ik Sir John Franklin, guided by his instructions, has passed 
throu;,di ]}arro\v Straits, and shaped a south-westerly course, 
from the meridian of Cape Walker, with the intention of jraininLf 
the northern coast of the continent of America, and so passin|r 
throu;;h the Dolphin and Union Straits alonjr the shore of that 
continent, to Behring's Straits ; 

His ^'rcatest risk of detention by the ice throuc,diout this course 
would be found between the parallels of 74° and 69° north latitude, 
and the meridians of 100° and 1 10" west longitude, or, in other 
words, that portion of the North-west passage which yet remains 
unexplored occupying the space between the western coast of 
Boothia on the one side, and the island or islands forming Banks 
and Victoria Lands on the other. 

Should the Erebus and Terror have been beset in the heavy 
drift ice, or wrecked amongst it and the broken land, which in 
all probability exists there, whilst contending with the prevalent 
westerly winds in this quarter ; 

The Coppermine River would lecidedly offer the most diiv.i. 
route and nearest ajjproach to that portion of the Polar Sea, and, 
after crossing Coronation Gulf, the average breadth of the strait 
between the Continent and Victoria Land is only about twenty- 
two miles. 

From this point a careful search should be commenced in the 
flirection of Banks Land ; the intervening space between it and 
Victoria Land, occupying about five degrees, or little more than 
300 miles, could, I think, be accomplished in one season, and a 
retreat to winter quarters effected before the winter set in. As 

1) b 2 

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the ice in the Coppermine RIvlt breaks up in June, the searching 
party ought to reach the sea by the beginning of August, which 
would leave two of the best months of the year for exploring the 
Polar Sea, viz. August and September. 

As it would be highly desirable that every available day, to 
the latest period of the season, should be devoted to the search, 
I should propose wintering on the coast in the vicinity of the 
mouth of the Coppermine River, which would also afford a 
favourable position from which to recommence the search in the 
following spring, should the first season prove unsuccessful. 

Of course the object of such an Expedition as I have proposed 
is not with the view of t:iking supplies to such a numerous party 
as Sir John Franklin has under his command ; but to find out his 
posit on, and acquaint him where a depot of provisions would be 
stored up for himself and crew at my proposed winter quarters, 
where a party should be left to build a house, establish a fishery, 
and lumt for game, during the absence of the searching party. 

To carry out this plan efficiently, the Hudson's Bay Company 
should be requested to lend their powerful co-operation in furnish- 
ing guides, supplies of pemmican, &c., for the party on their route 
and at winter quarters. Without entering into details here, I 
may observe that I should consider one boat, combining tlie neces- 
sary requisites in her construction to fit her for either the river 
navigation or that of the shores of the Polar Sea, would be quite 
sufficient, with a crew one half sailors, and the other half Canadian 
boatmen ; the latter to be engaged at Montreal, for whicl place 
I would propose leaving England in the month of P'ebruary. 

Should such an Expedition even fail in its main object, the 
discovery of the position of the missing ships and their crews, 
the long-iought-for Polar Passage might be accomplished. 

(Signed) R. McCORMICK, R. N. 

Woolwich, 1847. 

No. 2. 

Outline of a Plan of a Boat Expedition in Search of Sir JoiIN 

Fkanklin's Expedition. 
Hi'R Majesty's ship North Star, recently commissioned for 
the purpose of taking out an additional supply of provisions to 
Lancaster Sound, for the use of the arctic ships now absent, 
offers so favourable an opportunity for making another effort to 
ascertain the fate of Sir John Franklin's Expedition, and thnt, 
too, without in any way imi:)ediiig the particular service in 
which the North Star is to be employed, or even involving the 
necessity of that shii)"s wintering in the ice. 

I feel it my duty, as an officer who has been employed in 
former Expeditions, and devoted many jears past to the subject 



, the searching 
/Viigust, which 
exploring the 

lilable day, to 
to the search, 
'iciiiity of tlic 
also afford a 
search in the 
have proposed 
mncrous party 
to find out his 
lions would be 
inter quarters, 
blish a fishery, 
ching party. 
Bay Company 
tion in furnish- 
on their route 
details here, I 
iither the river 
vould be quite 
•half Canadian 
)r whicl place 
in object, the 
their crews, 
MICK, R. N. 

1 of Sir John 

missioned for 
provisions to 
now absent, 
other effort to 
ion, and that, 
ar service in 
involving the 

employed in 
to the subject 

of Polar discovery, to suggest that Jones and Smitli Sounds, 
at the head of Baffin Bay, should be carefully examined by a 
Boat Expedition ; but more especially the former, it being the 
first opening north of the entrance to Lancaster Sound. 

These openings to the Polar Sea, although most important 
ones, still remain unexplored, not coming within the sphere of 
search of any of the Expeditions at present employed in those 
seas. That they are important ones, I need only quote the 
opinion entertained by Colonel Sabine, one of the best authorities 
on this subject, who states in a letter to the Admiralty, that 
"it was Sir John Franklin's intention, if foiled at one point, 
to try in succession all the probable openings into a more 
navigable part of the Polar Sea. The range of coast is con- 
siderable in which memorials of the ships' progress would have 
to be sought for, extending from Melville Island, in the west, to 
the Great Sound, at the head of Baffin Bay, in the east." The 
same authority told Lady Franklin, that Sir John Franklin 
mentioned to him that, if he were baffled in everything else, he 
might perhaps look into the Sounds north of Baffin Bay before 
he returned home. 

The intense anxiety and apprehension now so generally 
entertained for the .safety of Sir John Franklin, and the crews 
of the Erebus and Terror under his command, who, if still in 
existence, are now passing through the severe ordeal of a fourth 
winter in those inclement regions, imperatively calls for every 
available effort to be made for their rescue from a position .so 
perilous ; and as long as one possible avenue to that position 
remains unsearchcd, the country will not feel satisfied that every- 
thing has been done which perseverance and experience can 
accomplish to dispel the mystery which at present surrounds 
their fate. 

The plan I propose is neither difficult nor expensive in the 
accomplishment. Jones Sound is within the short distance of 
about lOO miles of Lancaster Sound ; and Smith Sound is 
scarcely as much farther north of Jones Sound. The North 
Siar ought to arrive there about the beginning of August, 
which month, with part of September, would leave nearly two 
of the best months of the year for the examination of one or 
both these Sounds to their probable termination in the Polar 
Sea. Jones Sound, with the Wellington Channel, on the west, 
may be found to form an island of the land called " North 
Devon." All prominent positions on both sides of these Sounds 
should be searched for flag-staves and piles of stones, undei 
which copper cylinders or bottles may have been deposited, 
containing accounts of the proceedings of the missing expedition ; 
and if successful in getting upon its track, a clue would be 
obtained to the fate of our gallant countrymen. 

The searching party should commence its return in time to 

I i 


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374 » 


reach the entrance of Jones Sound at an appointed time and 
place, at which t!ie Nortk Star sliould be directed to call, after 
she had delivered her stores for the ships in Lancaster Sound. 
The latter part of September would be early enou;,fh for her 
final departure (so as to secure her from beinj^f beset for the 
winter), as that month is well known to be the best period of 
the year for navigating Haffin Hay. 

Having already twice volunteered my services to the Ad- 
miralty as long ago as the year 1847, to be employed in the 
general search for the lost Expedition, I need scarcely add how 
happy I shall be to conduct such a Boat K.xpedition as the one I 
have proposed. All that I should require for the performance 
of such a service would be an open boat — a whale lioat would, 
perhaps, be the best, with a tent and stove, and the requisite 
equipment for her crew, six in number. 

And further, should it be found necessary to continue the 
search in the following year, I am ready to winter on the coast 
in a log-hut, supplied with sufficient fuel, provisions, and clothing 
for the existence of my small party through a polar winter, 
or on board the North Star should it ultimately be deemed 
desirable that vessel should remain out. 

Should this outline of my plan meet with approval, I am pre- 
pared to furnish a more detailed statement. 

(Signed) R. McCORMlCK, 

Surgeon, R.N. 
II, Craven Street, 21st April, 1849. 




No. 3. 

VValpole Lynn, Norfolk, 
1 8th April, 1849. 
DEAf McCORMICK, — I need scarcely say that I greatly ad- 
mire the zeal which has prompted you to propose an additional 
plan for obtaining information r'"^pecting Sir Juhn Franklin's 
Expedition, and that I consider an_\ proposition coming from one 
so well ;i juainted with the polar regions as yourself well worthy 
of attention, more especially when you offer your own services in 
putting it into execution. 

1 will now give you my deliberate opinion as to the utility and 
practicability of the plan you have submitted to me. 

There can be no doubt as to the importance.and considering our 
increasing anxiety respecting Sir John Franklin, I could almost 
say the necessity, of examining the various sounds and inlets 
between Lai.;aster .Sound and the head of Jiathn Bay, 

More especially as Jones Sound is said to have been recently 




cd time and 
to call, after 
;istcr Sound. 
^\\'^\ for her 
beset for the 
;st period of 

to the Ad- 
loycd in the 
:ely add how 
as the one I 
boat would, 
the requisite 

continue the 
on the coast 
and clothintj 
polar winter, 
be deemed 

a), I am pre- 

geon, R.N. 

n, Norfolk, 
•il, 1849. 

greatly ad- 
an additional 
n Franklin's 
ing from one 
f well worthy 
t a services in 

le utility and 


could almost 

Is and inlets 


jeen recently 

entered by a whaler, and found to extend a considerable distance 
to the westward. 

Among the probabilities to which we are now driven, there is 
none more likely than that Sir John Franklin may have tried 
some one of those inlets, after failing in Lancaster Sound. 

Then, as to your plan of effecting this examination, I am 
decidedly of opinion that, so long as the summer remains open, 
by which I mean until young ice begins to form a serious im- 
pediment in shore, there is more to be done by a well-equipped 
boat than in any other way ; both as regards certainty of pro- 
gress and actual safety, more is to be done in close examination 
in a boat than in a ship, as I have more than once found by 

Two questions then arise — 

1st. What time would you have for efTecting this object, 
supposing you went out in the North Star? 

2nd. What prospect of securing your retreat, or of wintering 
in safety? 

I am decidedly of opinion that the North Star cannot for 
one moment be permitted to go out of her course (i.e. to be 
diverted from her main object of delivering provisions to the 
Investigator in order to land any resources for you at the mouth 
of Lancaster Sound, much less at any place to the northward 
of it). 

I am more and more confident that the North Star will have 
little or no time left after delivering her stores (which is no easy 
job), and if she has, we have proposed that she shall be employed 
under Captain Bird to carry on the search ; so that cither in the 
case of her coming home this year or not, you could get no help 
from her ; none, I mean, independently of her delivering of stores 
to the Investigatory or in such other place as circumstances may 
render necessary as the general depot for Sir James Ross's 

It is therefore perfectly clear to my mind, that your prospect 
of being provided for during the winter must depend upon your 
reaching \\\e. Investigator ox ^on\Q. known depot of provisions either 
at Port Leopold, or some point on the south .shore of Lancaster 
Sound, before the winter sets in. I feel confident that if you to any other resource, you will be disappointed. 

It follows, then, in my view, that you must leave the North 
Star at the entrance of Lancaster Sound with what your boat 
will stow, and that you must return in time to some known depot 
of provisions, independently of anything to be specially deposited 
for you, for it is impossible for the North Star to execute a 
third object this season. 

If, therefore, the North Star should succeed in reaching 
Lancaster Sound (as I once did) in the early pari vif August, 
you might do a great deal in the six weeks following, and 

(■ i\ 






:: ; '1 




secure your own retreat ; if much later, you could do ?o much 
the less, and perhaps incur so much the greater risk. 

These are my general views, and I do not entertain them 

Upon the whole, I do think it would be worth while to let you 
have a boat to make the attempt ; this would cost little, in any 
way, even if it failed, and I should be glad to see so much ardour 
as you possess employed in this humane and noble cause. 

1 have, &c. 
(Signed) VV. li. Parry. 

R. McCorniick, Esq. 

No. 4. 

Ml.MORANDUM enclosed in Mr. McCormick'S Letter of 

1st January, 1850. 

In the month of April last, I laid before my Lords Com- 
missioners of the Admiralty a plan of search for the missing 
]'-xpcdition under the command of Captain Sir John Franklin, 
by means of a Boat Expedition up Jones and Smith .Sounds, 
volunteering myself to conduct it. 

In that plan I stated the reasons which had induced me to 
direct my attention more especially to the openings at the head 
of Baffin Bay, which at the time were not included within the 
general scheme of search. 

Wellington Channel, however, of all the probable openings 
into the Polar Sea, possesses the highest degree of interest, and 
the exploration of which is of paramount importance, I should 
most unquestionably have comprised within my plan of search, 
had not her Majesty's ships Enterprise and Investigator been 
employed at the time in Barrow Straits for the express purpose 
of examining this inlet and Cape Walker, two of the most 
essential points of search in the whole track of the Erebus and 
Terror to the westward ; being those points at the ver}' threshold 
of his enterprise, from which Sir John P'ranklin would take his 
departure from the known to the unknown, whether he shaped 
a south-westerly course from the latter, or attempted the passage 
in a higher latitude from the former point. 

The return of the Sea Expedition from Port Leopold, and 
the overland one from the Mackenzie River, both alike un- 
successful in their search, leaves the fate of the gallant P'ranklin 
and his companions as problematical as ever ; in fact, the case 
stands precisely as it did two years ago ; the work is yet to be 
begun ; everything remains to be accomplished. 

In renewal of the search in the ensuing spring, more would 



do so much 

crtain them 

le to let you 
ittle, in any 
much ardour 

-:. Tarry. 

'S Letter of 

Lords Com- 

thc missing 
)hn Franklin, 
nith .Sounds, 

duced me to 
s at the head 
:d within the 

ble openings 
interest, and 
ncc, I should 
an of search, 
stigator been 
ress purpose 
of the most 
c Erebus and 
ery threshold 
Duld take his 
;r he shaped 
J the passage 

^copold, and 
th alike un- 
ant Franklin 
act, the case 
is yet to be 

more would 

be accomplished in boats than in any other way, not only by 
Jk'hring Straits, but from the eastward. For the difficulties 
attendant on icy navigation, which form so insuperable a barrier 
to the progress of ships, would be readily surmounted by boats ; 
by means of which the coast-line may be closely examined for 
cairns of stones, under which Sir John Franklin would most 
indubitably deposit memorials of his progress in all prominent 
positions, as opportunities might offer. 

The discovery of one of these mementos would, in all pro- 
bability, afford a clue that might lead to tlie rescue of our enter- 
prising countrymen, ere another and sixth winter close in upon 
them, should they be still in existence ; and the time has not 
yet arrived for abandoning hope. 

In renewing once more the offer of my services, which I do 
most cheerfully, I see no reason for changing the opinions 1 
entertained last spring ; subsequent events have only tended to 
confirm them. I then believed, and 1 do so still, after a long 
and mature considera ,onof the subject, that Sir John Franklin's 
ships have been arrested in a high latitude, and beset in the 
heavy polar ice northward of the Parry Islands, and that their 
probable course thither has been through the Wellington 
Channel, or one of the Sounds at the northern extremity of 
l^affin liay. 

This appears to me to be the only view of the case that can 
in any way account for the entire absence of all tidings of them 
throughout so protracted a period of time (unless all have 
perished by some sudden and overwhelming catastrophe). 

Isolated as their position would be under such circumstances, 
any attempt to reach the continent of America at such a dis- 
tance would be hopeless in the extreme ; and the mere chance 
of any party from the ships reaching the top of Baffin Bay ai 
the very moment of a vvhaler's brief and uncertain visit would 
be attended with by far too great a risk to justify the attempt, 
for failure would ensure inevitable destruction to the whole 
party ; therefore their only alternative would be to keep together 
in their ships, should no disaster have hapj^ened to them, and 
by husbanding their remaining resources, eke them out with 
whatever wild animals may come within their reach. 

Had Sir John Franklin been able to shape a south-westerly 
course from Cape Walker, as directed by his instructions, the 
probability is, some intelligence of him would have reached this 
country ere this« (nearly five years having already elapsed since 
his departure from it). Parties would have been sent out from 
his ships, either in the direction of the coast of America or 
Banow Straits, whichever happened to be the most accessible. 
P^squimaux would have bee ii fallen in with, and tidings of the 
long absent P2xpedition have been obtained. 

P'ailing in penetrating bejond Cape Walker, Sir John P'ranklin 





' 4 





•I, I J 

I. > { 






would have left some notice of his future intentions on that 
spot, or the nearest accessible one to it ; and should he then 
retrace his course for the VVellinj^ton Channel, tiie nio-t pro- 
bable conjecture, he would not pass up that inlet without de- 
positing a further account of his proceedings, either on the 
western or eastern ]}oint of the entrance to it. 

Therefore, should my proposal meet with their Lordships' 
approbation, I would most respectfully submit that the party I 
have volunteered to conduct should be landed at the entrance to 
the Wellington Channel, or the nearest point attainable by any 
ship that their Lordships may deem fit to employ in a future 
search, consistently with any other services that ship may have 
to perform ; and should a landing be effected on the eastern 
side, I would propose commencing the search from Cape Riley 
or Hjechey Island in a northerly direction, carefully examining 
every remarkable headland and indentation of the western coast 
of North Devon for memorials of the missing lixpedition ; I 
would then cross over the Wellington Channel, and continue 
the search along the northern shore of Cornwallis Island, extend- 
ing the exploration to the westward a;* far as the remaining 
portion of the season would permit, so as to secure the retreat 
of the party before the winter set in, returning either by the 
eastern or western side of Cornwallis Island, as circumstances 
might indicate to be the most desirable at the time, after ascer- 
taining the general extent and trending of the shores of that 

As, however, it would be highly desirable that Jones Sound 
should not be omitted in the search, more especially as a whaler, 
last season, reached its entrance and reported it open, I would 
further propose, that the ship conveying the exploring party out 
should look into this opening on her way to Lancaster Sound, 
if circumstances permitted of her doing so early in the season ; 
and, if found to be free from ice, the attempt might be made by 
the Boat Expedition to push through it to the westward in this 
latitude ; and should it prove to be an opening into the Polar 
Sea, of which I think there can be little doubt, a great saving of 
time and distance would be accomplished. Failing in this, the 
ship should be secured in some central position in the vicinity 
of the Wellington Channel, as a. point d'appui to fall back upon 
in the search from that quarter. 

(Signed) R. McCORMICK, R.N. 

Twickenham, 1st January, 1850. 



s on that 
1 lie tlicn 
mo-t pro- 
ithout dc- 
ir on the 

le party I 
ntrance to 
jlc by any 
1 a future 

may have 
he eastern 
Zape Riley 
stern coast 
)cdition ; I 
J continue 
id, extend- 

the retreat 
ther by the 
after asccr- 
res of that 


nes Sound 
a whaler, 
en, I would 
party out 
er Sound, 
le season ; 
je made by 
ard in this 
the Polar 
it saving of 
n this, the 
the vicinity 
back upon 

CK, R.N. 

Np. S. 

Copy of a Letter from Mr. McCormick to the Secretary of the 


II, Apsley Cottages, Twickenham Green, 
20th February, 1X50. 
Sir, — I beg leave to transmit herewith, for the ajiproval of my 
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, a list of the crew, gear, 
and provisions and clothing requisite for the equipment of the 
lioat I'Lxpedition, which 1 have volunteered to conduct in search 
of her Majesty's ships Erchiis and Terror, under the command 
of Captain Sir John I'Vanklin. 

The boat I should prefer for this service would be one similar, 
in the materials of its construction, to the boat used by Sir 
luhvard Parry, in his attempt to reach the North Pole in the 
year 1827 ; but this I must leave to the superior judgment of 
their Lordships. The timbers in that boat were of tough ash 
and hickory, with Mackintosh's waterproof canvas, and oak and 
fir planking over all, and having a runner on each side of the 
keel shod with smooth steel. The boat I would propose should 
be built after the model of a whale-boat, twenty-five feet in 
length and five feet beam in the extreme breadth ; the crew to 
consist of a petty officer, a carpenter, and four able seamen. 

The route which I am the most desirous and anxious to follow 
is by the Wellington Channel ; so strongly impressed am I with 
the conviction that it affords one of the best chances of crossing 
the track of the missing lixpedition, for the reasons already 
stated in my plan, now under their Lordships' consideration. 

To carry out this plan efficiently, the boat should be dropped 
by the ship conveying the searching party out at the entrance 
to the Wellington Channel in liarrow Straits ; from this point 
one or both sides of that channel and the northern shores of the 
Parry Islands might be explored as far west as the season would 
permit of. But should the ship be enabled to look into Jones 
Sound, on her way to Lancaster Sound, and find that opening 
free from ice, an attempt might be made by the lioat Kxpedition 
to push through it into the Wellington Channel. In the event, 
however, of its p'oving to be merely an inlet, which a short 
ilelay would be sufficient to decide, the ship might perhaps be 
in readiness to pick up the boat on its return, for conveyance to 
its ultimate destination through Lancaster Sound, or as a 
precaution against any unforeseen separation from the ship, a 
depot of provisions should be left at the entrance to Jones 
Sound for the boat to complete its supplies from, after accom- 
plishing the exploration of this inlet, and to afford the means, if 
compelled from an advanced period of the season or other 
adverse circumstances, of reaching some place of refuge, cither 





'■^' 1^ 1 2.2 






125 1.4 1.6 


^ ft" ». 





WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 











! ,. 

on board a whaler or some one of the ilcpAts of provisions on 
the southern shores of liarrow Straits. 

I liavc, &c. 
(Sij^ncd) R McCORMICK, R.N. 

r.quipiiunt for Ihe Boat. 

Hoal's pent, .iwniriK. tarpaulins, &c. 

Carpenter's tools anil viilcanizcil Inilian rubber fur repairs. 

Six fo\vlin};-picces and anununilion. 

Arm-ciicst anil magazine. 

Harpoons ant! net. 

Compass, chronometer, and quadrant. 

Thcrmotnctcrs and aneroid barometer. 

Hox of stationery. 

'lent and .Smith's Orion bi-Its. 

Ilalkctt's boats (lar^c and small sizes). 

Two iif Sir lulward i'arry's sled^ji'S. 

Cooking apparatus, and knives, forks, and spoons. 

(lutta pc'clia cups and plates. 

Wiighing dial ui)d measures. 


(Rations for each man per diem.) 


I'rescrved meals, soups, and vegetables . 


Cocoa powder, sweetened .... 






Spirits of wine for fuel . 


Fur caps and south-westers, of each 
Fur dresses for sleeping in 
Suits of pilot cloth .... 
Cloili boots and moccasins . 
Mittens and stout stockings . 
<liiirnsfy frocks and flannel shirts 
Flannel drawers and comforters . 
IJlanket ba);s lor sleeping in . 


1 3 oz. 

'2 .. 

I lb. 
I oz. 

« .. 


> « 

oj gill, 
oi oz. 
I pint. 

7 no. 
7 « 

7 ., 
14 pairs. 

<4 ,. 

'4 „ 

'4 ,, 

7 „ 

R. McC. 

No. 6. 

Memorandum by the Ilydrographcr of the Admiralty on Mr. 
McCokMlCK'S proposed lioat Kxpcdition. 

Dr. McCormick has shown so much heart and perseverance 
in urging his project for the relief of the Erebus and Terror, 
that there can be no doubt that he would execute it with coin- 

rovisions on 



mcnsuratc zeal and resolution ; and thoufrh It docs not appear 
to me tiiat Junes Sound or the Wellington Channel are the 
most lik^'ly places to find those ships, yet in the fifth year of 
their absence every place should be searched, and I therefore 
submit that this plan would cost but little, as a rid^-r upon some 
other Kxpeilition by the eastern route. If their Lordships 
should consent to Captain Penny's offer of proceedin;^ to 
Lancaster Sound in his whaling vcssi.'l, perhaps the doctor 
mi^ht be despatched with him, according to the position they 
niijfht find occupied by the ice : ihey would be able to determine 
at which point of his proposed circuit it would be most prudent 
for him to land, and they would arrange at what place he should 
be picked up. 

(Signed) F. B. 

No. 7. 

4, Elm Court, Temple, 
31st March, 1850. 
DiAK SlK Fu.Wils,— If Mr. McCormick's offer of service 
could be considered as an application for employment, I should 
have declined from the first to have meddled witli it, feeling, as 
1 do, that upon the present administration I have no claim what- 
ever, and that so long as I remain an independent member of 
Parliament I am not likely to find my.sclf otherwise situated in 
respect of any administration. 

Humanity and bravery arc qualities which all men of principle 
must appreciate ; and when, as in McCormick's ca;.e, they are 
teini)ered by prudence and guided by long practice, all men 
ought, in my opinion, to unite in cordial efforts to promote the 
success of what they undertake. 

You do not need testimony in this instance of humanity and 
courage ; your own heart will bear him witness. Of the other 
essential qualities for success in the scheme of search which he 
proposes, the valuable reports of experienced officers, certifying 
their approbition of his plan, and, with that plan, laid before 
I'arliamtnt, will more than suffice to convince a mind con- 
stituted like your dwn. Nevertheless, I may recall to your 
recollection the f'livatf opiiiicjii of S r James Ross himself — 
certainly no patron of McCormick — and the opinion of Com- 
mander I'hillips, his ci)mi)aiiion in the boat e.\i)ctlition of survey 
on tlic of Kerguelens in 1840, the purport of which I 
quoted to you in a rec -lit conversation. Captain Austin, too, 
altlioni^li the plan had never been refined to hint, on Thursday 
last told McCormick in Captain Hecher's presence, that he was 
most favourably disposed towards it, and wishetl it success. I 
mention this because I know that ill-informed persons are under 
a different impression as to Captain Austin's inclination to 



forward plans of search iiKlc])cnclcnt of that plan which is 
ininicdiatcly under his control and mana<^cmcnt. 

The Hoard over which you preside have reconsidered the 
matter, and permitted me to inform McCormick that his 
plan shall be tried. Admiral Dundas went so far as to assure 
mc, at a subsequent interview, that the Intrepid was to take him 
and his boat. Hut the boat cannoi" be built in less than a 
fortnight, and it may take a MONIII, according lo the state of 
the dockyard. Yet the order has not yet been s'^en, nor has 
McCormick ever received any notification of his ap|)ointmcnt, 
nor, indeed, any communication whatever from the Admiralty. 
In the mean time, the season advances, the Intrepid is getting 
every day more ready for sea, and the difficulty begins to be ap- 
prehended that, when the order is at length given, there will not 
be time to build the boat; or if built, that there will not be room 
on board the Intrepid to receive it. This boat is, however, the 
root of the matter, the plan being without it impracticable and 
worthless. Indeed, I do not see that it would be very wise for 
McCormick to f;o out at all without his boat. He can do 
nothing if he goes, and, as it strikes me — remembering that Sir 
William Hurnett's influence (or some other) has hitherto deprived 
him of the step to which his Antarctic services in 1839-43 on 
board of this very Erdms ent tied him .«:o well — it will not do 
for hint to go out with the tolerable certainty of coming back 
unsuccessful. Reputation to any officer — to him more especially 
— must be all in all, where promotion is in question. Pardon the 
freedom of these remarks, which are not intended, I beg you to 
believe, as arguments for McCormick, but, rather, for poor Frank- 
lin. I am firmly persuaded that if the plan be fairly tried, it 
will save all that is to be saved of the expedition, I there- 
fore urge it upon your goodness and zeal in this uncourteous 
fashion. I have a peculiar motive to stimulate the an.xiety 
which I share with others. Sir John Franklin was for a few 
months friendly towards mc, and then he and I had differences 
of a political nature, and then we quarrelled, and I thought that 
he wronged me. Do not let me fail in my endeavour to serve 
him at his need. I am sure that he, if he returns, will appreciate 
the service. 

Ik'licve me, dear Sir Franci.s, 
Yours truly, 
(Signed) T. Cin.snoi.M Anstkv, M.P. 

Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Thornhill Haring, Hart., M.P., &c. 

No. 8. 

4, Elm Court, 

2nd April, 1850. 
Dear Sir Francis, — I have to thank you for your early 
reply to mine of the 30th (misdated the 31st) ult. 

,n which is 

isidcrcd the 
:k that his 
IS to assure 
to take him 
LESS than a 
tiic state of 
rcn, nor has 

d is getting 
ins to be ap- 
licre will not 
not be room 
however, the 
cticablc and 
■ery wise for 

He can do 
•ing that Sir 
:rto deprived 

I > 83943 "" 

will not do 

oming back 

re especially 

I'ardun the 

beg you to 

poor Fraiik- 

trly tried, it 

ion, I thcre- 


:he anxiety 

for a few 

di (Terences 

lought that 

our to serve 

1 appreciate 

i:v, M.P. 



)ril, 1850. 

your early 



Permit me to add to the remarks contained in my former 
letter that this is a service in which unfortunately no account 
can be taken of the risks which tlie volimtcers incur. To make 
an cflTcctual search there must be dreadful risks ventured. The 
question should be, is such or such a plan of search likely to be 
effectual .' The more likely, the greater risk, perhaps. 

Tried by this test, McCormick's plan ap|)cars a proper one 
for your adoption, and of the risk he and his comrades alone 
arc to judge. Let me, however, say that perhaps you overrate 
the amount. There must be a receiving-ship, a /><'/«/ </'<?/////, 
somewhere stationed for the support and relief of the smaller 
vessels. Why may not his boat obtain the benefit of her being 
there } or, why may be not. at the very worst, reach Port 
Leopold, where there are twelve months' provisions, and the 
steamer left by 3ir James C. Ross last year.' I know, that hi 
accounts the risk as nothing in comparison of the hope of 

The disinclination of the lloard to try his plans was removed 
by .S'.ibsequent communications, unofficial, doubtless. Admiral 
liundas' promise to give him a berth on board of the Inti(f<ui, 
and a boat, was subsequent to the letter of the Hoard, declining 
that offer of his services. 

1 have thrown these hasty observations together in the 
purpose of enabling you better to judge the present st te of the 
case when you come to consult your colleagues, 
And 1 am, dear Sir Francis, 

Very faithfully yours, 
(Signed) T. Cllisiioi M Anstey, M.P. 

Rt. Hon. Sir Francis T. Haring, Bart., M.P., &c. &c. 

No. 9. 

Mr. McCoRMiCK, to the Secretary to the Admiralty. 

Apsley Cottages, Twickenham Green, 
27th November, i85r. 
SiK, — May I request that you will be pleased to accjuaint my 
Lords Commissioners of the Adniiraliy that I am ready and 
willing as ever to conduct a " boat and sledge e.vpedit ion " in 
search of her Majesty's ships I-.rcbus and J error, under the 
command of Captain .Sir John I'ranklin. 

Having been thcy/nV to projiose the mode of search by ''boat 
ami slidi^c" as well as the Jirst to point out the ll'i/Zii/j^/ofi 
C/w ;////•/ as the course taken by the missing e.\pedition in the 
attempt to accomplish the " North-west passage," now placed 
almost beyond a doubt by the traces found at Cape Riley and 
Bcechcy Island — the very spots named in the plan I had the 
honour of submitting to their Lordships on the 1st of January, 



1850, as the first to be sc.irchcJ for memorials, and the most 
likely places for strikiiifj upon the track of the missiiijj ships — 
affords the surest guarantee for the successful execution of a 
project so auspiciously planned. 

I have, &c., 

R. McCoRMiCK, 

Surgeon, R.N. 



No. 10. 

Plan of Skarch, by Boat and Sledge, for the Rescue of 
Captain Sir John Franklin and the Crews of Her 
Majesty's Ships Erebus and Terror, or the discovery of 
their Fate. 

ExPliDlTloN after expedition, both by sea and land, have been 
sent forth by Fngland and by America, by public and by 
private enterprise, in search of our lost countrymen, and returned 
again and again, leaving their fate as inexplicable a mystery as 

Yet, strange enough, not one of those expeditions have ex- 
plored Siitith Sound, at the head of liaflin Hay, looked into it, 
or even made the attempt. Although, next to Wellington 
Channel, the most promising and important opening to the 
Polar Ocean, within the icebound recesses of which there can 
now scarcely be entertained a rational doubt that the ill-fated 
Erebus and Terror have been inextricably beset, or wrecked 
amongst the heavy jiacks and archipelago of islands by which, 
in all probability, that ocean is encumborcd. 

My own opinion has ever been that Sir John Franklin went 
up the Wellington Channel, and, consequently, the surest w.'iy 
to find him would be, not only to follow upon his track up that 
channel, and to the northward and westward of the Parry group 
of land, but also to meet him in any retrograde movement he 
might be comi)elled to make to the eastward, should his ships, 
in the attempt to get to the westward, be driven by the strong 
currents from the uorth-wcst to the meridian of the Sounds at 
the northern extremity of HafTin Bay ; a by no means im- 
probable event, and one that should nt. be lost sight of. If 
Smith and Jones Sounds should prove to be openings into the 
Polar Ocean, as I long ago anticipated, they would offer the 
readiest means of exit to either ships or boats, with the prospect 
before them of falling in with some whaler. 

It was under this impression that I offered my services, as 
long ago as the year icS4y, to go out in her Majesty's ship iVt^///« 
Star, to conduct a boat expedition up those Sounds, volunteer- 
ing at the same time to winter on the coast in a log-hut, if pro- 

J the most 
iiiijj ships — 
icution of a 

;con, R.N. 

; Rescue of 
ews of Her 
discovery of 

d, have been 
t>lic and by 
and returned 
a mystery as 

ns have ex- 
oked into it, 

ning to the 
h there can 
the ill-fated 

or wrecked 
is by which, 

anklin went 
surest way 
ack up that 
arry group 
)vcment he 
his ships, 
the strong 
Sounds at 
means ini- 
;ht of. If 
igs into the 
offer the 
he prospect 

services, as 
hut, if pro- 



vided with a whale boat and half a dozen hands, &c. This 
offer, although most favourably reported upon by Captain Sir 
Kdward Parry, was declined by the Lords Commissioners of the 

On the 1st of January, 1850, I laid another plan before their 
Lordships for the exploration of the Wellington Channel by 
boat and sledge. In that plan I made the following remarks : — 
"Wellington Channel, however, of all the probable openings into 
the Polar Sea, possesses the highest degree of intirest, and the 
exploration of which is of paramount importance," &c. " That 
Sir John Franklin's ships have been arrested in a high latitude, 
and beset fn the heavv Polar ice northward of the Parrv Islands, 
and that their probable course thither has been through the 
Wellington Channel," &c. 

" I would propose commencing the search from Cape Riley or 
Beecliey Isiaml, in a northerly direction, carefully examining 
every reuiaikubic headland and indentation of the western coast 
of Nortn Devon for memorials of the missing expedition," &c. 

Since these remarks were written, the cape and island nave 
become well known as the first winter quarters of the unfortu- 
nate ships, and it may appt-ar a striking coincidence that I should 
have named these very spots. The motive for my doing so, how- 
ever, is easily explained. Tne very suitable position of the little 
bay at Cape Riley, so well protected by Heechey Island, which 
formed a natural fender for keeping off the heavy floes and pack 
ice, at once pointed it out as a most desirable harbour for the 
ships at the very threshold of their enterprise, and could not 
fail, on glancing over the chart, to rivet the attention of an 
experienced and practised ej'e. 

Again, in a subsequent letter to the Board, dated 20th 
February, 1850, I stated, "The route which I am the most 
desirous and anxious to follow is by the Wellington Channel, so 
strongly impressed am I with the conviction that it affords one 
of the best chances of crossing the track of the missing expe- 
dition, for the reasons already stated in my plan now under their 
Lordships' consideration." 

In these views of the position I had assigned to the missing 
expedition I believe 1 at the time stood alone. The generally 
received opinion having been that Sir John Franklin's ships had 
been arrested in the ice to the southward and westward of Cape 
Walker or Melville Island. The results of the late searching 
parties have, however, proved beyond a doubt the correctness of 
my own views, even to the finding of traces, if not ?. memorial 
(which, however, I believe, yet remains to be discovcretl), at 
Cape Riley and Beechcy Island. 

Although none could have felt more keenly than I did the 
disappointment in not having been permitted to carry out either 
of my projects, feeling as I then did so confident that success 

VOL. H. C C 


' T 



n^niBMiIlft I 


would h.ive crowned my cfTorts, I nevcrtliclcss, even now, am as 
sanguine as ever that it is not yet too late to save some gallant 
fellows, if not all, from a lingering fate, too fearful to dwell upon 
— from a living tomb. 

My own personal knowledge of the resources available for sus- 
taining life within the Arctic n-gions r»)rbitis the thought that a 
hundred and thirty fellow-beings in the full vigour of manhood 
have already succumbed under the effects of cold, famine, or 
disease, without one individual being left to tell the sad and 
melancholy talc. 

The "snow hut " would afford them shelter from the weather, 
the skin of the seal protection from the cold, its blubber light 
and fuel. The "Andromeda tetragona," a plant of the heath 
tribe, widely spread over arctic lands, and which I have myself 
gathered in the northernmost known land, Spit/bergen, where it 
grows in considerable abundance, offers another source from 
which fuel may be obtained. Vast flocks of waterfowl which 
annually migrate to their breeding-places in the very depths of the 
arctic solitudes, where they can rear their young unmolested by 
man or, probably beyond even the range of that restless 
wanderer of the snowy wastes, the arctic fo.\ — tliesc birds would be 
easily captured whilst moulting and unable to fly, and with their 
eggs furnish a wholesome sujiply of food for each succeeding 
winter's store. Scurvy is the foe, after all, the most to be 
dreaded, and progressively so with the lapse of time, and gradual 
decline of the vital powers, but even this scourge, whilst it 
sweeps off the despondent and indolent, oft spares the buoyant 
and energetic. 

My firm belief that the crews of my old ships the Erebus and 
Terror, or a icmnant of them, are still in existence, is founded 
on some years' personal experience in frozen climes, both Arctic 
and Antarctic, and my observations as a naturaliiit on the habits 
and instincts of animals, with their geographical distribution 
over the surface of the globe, from pole to pole, leads me to the 
conclusion that the means of sustenance will not be wanting. 
Under this conviction, my enthusiasm in this noble cause will 
never cease to prompt me to come forward to their rescue on 
every occasion that may offer for carrying out my plan of relief, 
till the problem has been solved that shall decide their fate, and 
not till then. 

Once more, therefore, and for the fourth time, I may be 
allowed to call the attention of my Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty to a reconsideration of my plan, and if above four 
years of unceasing and unwearied application to be cmp'oyed in 
the Franklin .search be any proof of zeal, pt. rscveraiice, and 
devotedness of purpose, and these qualities, when backed by 
experience, consiilered fitting qualifications for such an under- 
taking, I trust that their Lordships will permit me to have 



11 now, am as 

suinc (gallant 

to dwell upon 

liable for sus- 
liou-jht that a 
r of manhooil 
kl, famine, or 
the sad and 

I the weather, 
blubber litjht 
of the heath 
[ have myself 
rgen, where it 
r source from 
terfowl which 
y' depths of the 
m molested by 
f that restless 
birds would be 
and with their 
ch succeeding 
! most to be 
e, and gradual 
rge, whilst it 
IS the buoyant 

le Erebus and 
cc, is founded 
s, both Arctic 

on the habits 

ds me to the 
be wanting. 

jle cause will 
icir rescue on 

plan of relief, 

heir fate, and 

nc, I may be 
sioners of the 
if above four 

employed in 
uvcraiKe, and 
in backed by 
ch an under- 

me to have 

some share in the search on its renewal in tic forthcoming 

All I ask for is a whale boat and sledge, manned by six hands, 
with the requisite equipment of stores, fuel, provisions, clothing, 
&c., and the command of the party, with which it was my original 
intention to have proposed proceeding direct to Smith Sound, 
and devoting the ensuing autumn to the exploration of that 
inlet as far up as the season would admit of, wintering there in 
a log-hut taken out for the purpose, so as to be enabled in tlic 
following spring to extend the search over the ice by sledging ; 
and in the event of Smith Sound opening into the I' Ocean, 
which I believe it does, and the heavy swell setting out of it (as 
indicated in the Admiralty chart of HafTin Hay, published in 
the same Return to the House of Commons in which my own 
former plans appeared, and dated March, 1850), is strongly in 
support of such an opinion, and by shaping a westerly course, a 
junction might possibly be effected with the searching parties 
employed up the Wellington Channel. 

I find, however, that the Arctic Council have recommended 
that the future search shall be exclusively confined to the 
Wellington Channel, and that a squadron of ships be sent out 
in that direction. Moreover, an objection might be made to 
the attempt to explore Smith Sound from Baffin Hay, on the 
ground that the entrance to it has never been seen clear of ice, 
but were such the fact I know not how we are to account for the 
heavy swell. 

Under these circumstances I most willingly volunteer my 
services to go out in any one of the vessels to Wellington 
Channel, there to commence the search in the reverse order, 
round Cape Sir John Frankltii, northward or eastward, as the 
land may trend, exploring in tlie direction of the meridian of 
Smith and Jones Sounds for any corresponding openings to the 
Polar Ocean, into which the missing ships may have been 
driven under the influence of adverse winds and currents, whilst 
helplessly beset in heavily and closely packed ice. 

Such a branch enterprise, carried out at the same time with 
the still more important one to the westward round Cape Lady 
Franklin, and which will doubtless be the main object of the 
next general expedition, would by providing for every con- 
tingency, promise the best possible chance of restoring to their 
friends and country all that remains to be saved of our brave 
and enterprising countrymen. 

R. McCoKMlCK, 

Surgeon, R.N. 

Twickenham, 20th January, 1852. 

c c 2 




No. 1 1 . 

Last Plam of Search for tiik of tiif Fate 
OK Sir John Frankmn's Kxpediiion, laid bcfoic the 
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty and the Rnyai 
Geographical Society, by RoiiKUT McCoRMICK, F.R.C.S , 
R.N., January 6th, 1857. 

Reasons for n tvunval of the search for fiirth, r traces of the 
Franklin Exftetiition.and the various routes by ZK'hith that 
seiirch uiay be carried out, considered in reference to the most 
eli,!^ibU plan for reaching:; the area to be explored, comprising 
King IVilliants Land and the coasts adjacent. 

The accidental discovery of the relics left in the hands of the 
Esquimaux, at the mouth of the Great Fish River, by that gallant 
band of toilwDrn and famisliinff men, the forlorn hope of 40 out 
of tlic 13S noble fellows that constituted the crews of the ill-fated 
Erebus and Terror, gives a new and important feature to the 
search, — a definite spot on which to concentrate our efforts ; a 
clue which, if zealously and judiciously followed up, cannot 
fail to lead to the discovery of the fate which befell our long-lost 

What a startling narrative of adventures and discovery, what 
a thrilling tale of suffering and woe, may not the recovery of a 
record of their wanderings unfold ; though the hand that penned 
it, and the hands that biried it, be long ago cold and inanimate 
as the cairn of stones beneath which that record may lie con- 
cealed amid the frozen, snow-clad cliffs overhanging the ice-bound 
shores of King William's Land, or the banks of the Great Fish 
River? The probability of finding such a document would, in 
itself, justify the prosecution of a further search, were there no 
other reasons for continuing it. In the present crisis, however, it 
c.innot be said to be the only one. The relatives and friends of 
the lost ones, still poised between hope and despair, in that 
painful position of suspense and anxiety, worse than the dread 
reality itself, cling, naturally enough, to what 1 fear must now be 
considered delusive hope that survivors will be found— a hope, 
nevertheless, held out not by the inexperienced and unreflecting 
alone, but by those whose position and judgment give influence 
and weight to their opinions, and whose sanguine temperaments 
make them reluctant to resign that hope so long as mystery 
remains, albeit the twelfth year of this sad myitery is drawing 
to a close. 

In again pressing for another search, I need scarcely say that I 
do so solely from a sincere and firm conviction in m • own mind of 
the necessity for it, ere this much vexed question can possibly be 
set at rest forever. Asa Surgeon in the Royal Navy, I presume 
no .M'ilish or interested motives can be imputed to me, seeing 



TiiF Fate 
1 bcfoic the 

the Royal 
:K, F.R.C.S . 

U-aces of the 
y XK'liuh t/itit 
T to the most 
/, comprising 

hands of the 
y that gallant 
)pc of 40 out 
.f the ill-fated 
eature to the 
our efforts ; a 
rl up, cannot 
our Ion tj- lost 

scovcry, what 
recovery of a 
J that penned 
md inanimate 
may lie con- 
thc ice-bound 
lie dreat Fish 
cnt would, in 
Ivcre there no 
is, however, it 
nd friends of 
:spair, in that 
lian the dread 
must now be 
lund— a hope, 
1 unreflecting 
Igive influence 
j<f as mystery 
ry is drawing 

rely Fay that I 
own mind of 
jn possibly be 
Ivy, I j)rcsiin)e 
lo me, seeing 

that I bclonpf to a class hitherto excUuled from sharinj^ in the 
promotions which have been so liberally bestowed on officers of 
every other grade, on the return of each successive expedition : 
albeit the Surgeon, no matter whether he conducted a successful 
expedition himself, or was one of the discoverers of a Polar 
Passage, a Surgeon he remains. 

The area to be searchetl for records is now reduced to within 
very circumscribed limits, and may be coniprised within the 
parallels of G7" and 74" of latitude, and the meridians of 94° and 
100° of longitude. Within this sjjace lie Feel Sound, King 
William's Land, the western of Hoothia, and the estuary 
of the Great Fish River, King William's Land itself occupying 
about 4 degrees of longitude, and 1 \ degrees of latitude. This 
area of search may be approached from each of the four cardinal 
points of the compass. 

From the west, by Ik-hring Strait; from the east, by Hud- 
son Hay ; from the north, by Barrow Strait ;' and from the 
south, by the Great Fish River. 

The first route, by Hehring Strait, may be at once discarded, 
as it now too late in the season for any attempt in that direction. 
The vast distance also to the sphere of action is, of itself, a 
objection to this route ; for, under the most favourable circum- 
.stance.s, not less than nine or ten months must be sacrificed on 
the passage out ; and although a ship's re.iching even King 
William's Land in the same season comes within the range of 
possibility, it needs no very profound knowledge or experience 
in ice-navigation to foresee that this must greatly dei)encl upon a 
favourable season. Nothing in nature is more capricious tha!i 
the movements of ice, under the influence, at all times, of winds 
and currents. Strange fatality ! that the Enterprise s sledge 
parties should have been within the short distance o{ forty-five 
miles of King William's Land without reaching its shores, — 
shores now so replete with interest. Yet in the vicinity of Cam- 
bridge Hay, their winter quarters, only 1 20 miles off, a door-hatch 
and a piece of iron, supposed to have belonged to the Erebus 
and Terror, appear to have been found. 

The second route, by Hudson's Hay, presents three openings ; 
two of them, Chesterfield Inlet and Wager River, run up in the 
direction of the Great Fish River, but the intervening space, 
though of no great extent, which separates them from the latter 
river, is said to be rough ground, unfavourable for travelling. 
The third. Repulse Hay, involves a long overland journey for the 
transit of a boat of a size required for the navigation of the 
western sea, first, across the isthmus into Committee Hay, 
and from thence over Franklin Isthmus to Castor and Pollux 

The third route, by Harrow Strait, offers the choice of three 
avenues to Kii'.g William's Land and the Great Fish River— by 





'///t ndix. 




Melville SountI, I'cc! Sound, and Re^jent Inlet. Melville Sound, 
situate to the wtstward of Cape Walker, in the lonj^itude of 105" 
west, is, from the report of the sled^jinjj party that explored 
it, not uavij^abU for ships at any period of tlie year, heinj^ beset 
by trimendous ice, fro/en to the bottom, and risiiij,' in luinunocks 
friMn liltien to twenty-five in heij4li», the land low, with ofT- 
lyin^ shoals at the bottom of the Sound, about fifty miles of which 
was not explored, but supposetl to be coiitiintoiis. I'eel So.iiul, 
lyln^; between North Somerset and Cape Walker, in the lonj,'i- 
tude of »j6^, was also examined by sled^'in^; parties, down to the 
latitude of 73' (liSo nnles beyond this remain unexplored), holils 
out little better prospect for the pass.i^e of a ship, from the 
character ^iven in the report - that it is lilled with undisturbed, 
smooth floe-ice, aj^'round, exhibitinjj no appearance of pressure 
or tide-marks alon^; its flat shores, and rarely, if ever, open to 
navigation. The smooth ice, however, would be favourable for 
s!ed};in;{ over, with a ship secureil in one of the inlets of the of North Somer>et, for the party to fall back upon. 

Keyent Inlet, in the longitude of 90° west, ajjpears to mc the 
most i)romisin^ of all the avenues of approach to the area of 
search. We know that this inlet is rctilly navigable for ships, 
Sir lulward Parry havin,;, in the month of Au^ji'st, in the year 
I1S19, passed as far down it, with the I/ixla and C riper, as Cape 
Kater, about tlie latitude of Hrentfoid Hay and Hellot Strait ; and 
the Victory, in the autumn of the year 1829, reached I'clix 
Harbour, at the bottom of the Gulf of Hoothia. 

I would, therefore, sut;j,'est that a small vessel, of some fifty 
tons burthen, fore-and-aft ri^^i^ed, with a crew of a dozen Green- 
land seamen, and two mates, besides the oflicer in command, 
stored and provisioned for eij.;hteen months, should leave this 
country about Midsummer lJa>', proceed down Prince Keyeiit 
Iidet as far as Prcntford Hay, and, on the vessel bein^i secured 
there, a boat and sledge expedition pass at once throujjh the Striit 
of Hellot into the Western Sea, explore the coast of Hoothia 
down to the maj;netic pole, from thence crossing over to Cape 
Kelix, circumnavigate the shoics of King William's Land by boat 
or sledge, as the presence of water or ice may indicate ; and if 
successful in discovering a record or other traces of the lost ex- 
jjcdition, and the season an open and favourable one, might 
possibiy return to luigland the same year. 

1 he vessel I have proposed may appear small for such an 
enterprise. Hafilui, however, in th- old J)isiorcry, a vessel of 
not greater tonnage, made the circuit of the bay which bears his 
name, and accomplished moreinafiw months than has been 
done since by more ostentatious expeditions. The advantages 
of a small vessel over a large one are manifold ;— her smaller 
draught of water, her less liability to injury in a nip, the facility 
w ith which she may be worked in narrow leads amongst ice. 



■Ivillc Sniiinl. 
itiulc of 105° 
liat explored 
, bciiit; beset 
w hiiiiiinocKs 
()\v, with «i(T- 
niles of which 

I'eel So'.;iui, 
in the lon^fi- 
, down to tlic 
[)lured), holils 
lip, from the 

e of pressure 
ever, open to 
iivoiirable fur 

inlets of the 

ars to me the 
) the area of 
ble for ships, 
t, ill the year 
riper, as (Jape 
jt Strait ; aiul 
L*ached Felix 

of some fifty 
dozen Green- 
in command, 
lid leave this 
'riiice Keyeiit 
jein^ secured 
-h the Strnit 
of lioothiii 
over to Cape 
aiul by boat 
ate ; and if 
the lost ex- 
one, might 

or such an 
a vessel of 
ich bears his 
\w has been 
-her smaller 
», the facility 
mongst ice, 

or bcachei! to repair dania},'(*s, a smaller crew to provide for, 
fjreat savin{j of expense in the general ecpiipment, and lastly, in 
the event of any disaster to the ship, the smaller the party, the 
better the chance of escape 

Within the area to be searched for recorils, I do not for one 
moment expect to find either the /f;«7'//j or Terror; I should 
just as soon think of looking for them at the South Pole, as at 
King William's Land. I am, nevertheless, fully aware that this 
is by no means the general impression, and that I am making a 
bold assertion. 1 would ask, iiovvever, how these ships got 
there, if I'eel and MelviI.e Sounds are never iia~i"\iiiil>/e at any 
season of the year .' for such is the re|)ort of the officers who 
explored these openings. Through what channel, then, could 
the ships have passetl, unless they had niitiei/>atetf the discovery 
of the Noith-west Passage by penetrating Priuee of Wii/es' 
Strait .' What were they doing during the long interval oi four 
years, unaccounted for, from their departure from winter 
quarters, at Heechey Inland, to the discovery of the relics at the 
mouth of the Great l-ish Kiver.' Is it probable that in any 
position these ships could have been placed in, south of Harrow 
Straits, — the distance is not .so great, — four years would have 
been allowed to elapse without an attempt to communicate 
with the llud.son's llay settlements .> and if such an attempt 
had been made, can we reasonably suppose that out of the two 
fine ship.s' companies, numbering 138 men, for years inured to 
hardship and exposure, not one should have succeeded in the 

It is more, I think, than ever probable that Sir John Frank- 
lin, after making every effort to carry out his Instructions, 
which he Miost assuredly would do, as long as there was 
a chance of doing so, finally, finding himself baffled in all 
his attempts to penetrate those impracticable openings to the 
southward and westward, attempted the sceond eourse pointed 
out to liiin by his Instructions,— the Welliui^tou Chauuel — which, 
with Smith and Jones Sounds, I long ago anticipateil would be 
found to open into that vast Polar Ocean, the existence (^f 
which the late Arctic explorations of the Americans have eon- 
firmed, which doubtless I'ornis the Polar passage uniting the 
Atlantic and Pacilic Oceans, not by narrow and tortuous straits, 
as in the more southern latitudes, but by an ocean uniting 
oceans — as the greatest of all Arctic geographers, the talented 
and immortal Sir John Harrow, the hi.storian of Arctic di.scovcry, 
long ago announced as a Polar basin. 

In so vast a region, extending over some seventy degrees of 
longitude, from \\ elliugton Channel to Hehring Strait, we know 
not what discoveries may have been made in that four years of 
mystery. The Pole itself may have been reached, for aught wc 
know to the contrary, ere the catastrophe happened to the 




ships, which drove the forlorn hope of forty men, as a last rc- 
sour ;e, to reach the shores of America, or perish by the way. 
I believe that they came done Wellington Channel, over the 
floe, which, on breaking up, would leave no trace behind to 
mark their weary way. That, revisiting their old winter quarters 
at Hccchcy Island, they fuund the boat which they were seen 
dragging along when the Esquimaux fell in with them at the 
mouth at the Great Fish River. That Sir John Franklin, 
before he launched his ships upon the dangerous navigation of 
an unknown and ice-encumbered sea, would, as a precautionary 
measure, leave a boat and cache of provisions behind him to 
meet any emergency arising out of disaster to his ships, seems 
to mc more than probable. Sir Edward Parry, I know, did this, 
in his attcmi)t to reach the North Pole in the year 1827, having 
myself assisted in hauling the boat over the ice, which was left, 
with the cache of provisions, on Red Beach, Spitzbergen, when 
the Hccla was beset in the pack-ice. When I first saw the 
tent-circles at Cape Riley, it struck me that the site selected 
was a very out-of-the-way one for making magnetic observa- 
tions, with the ships lying at the very opposite extremity of the 
Hay, and having above three miles of rugged, hummocky ice 
intervening between them and Cape Riley, when a far more 
eligible spot presented itself on the narrow spit of shingle on 
which the graves are situated, dividing P>ebus and Terror Bay 
from Union Bay, and close to the anchorage of the ships. lien;, 
indeed, was found the ground plan of a building, which I think 
had obviously been the magnetic observatory. 

These remarks are not hazarded without some little ac- 
quaintance with the subject to justify them, having myself been 
engaged in the voyage to the Antarctic seas, undertaken for 
magnetic purposes, when this same Enbiis had been my ocean 
home for four long years. The "tent-circles," both at Cape 
Riley and at the south-eastern extremity of Bcechey Island, 
appeared to me more likely to have formed the temporary en- 
campment of a travelling party, watching for a favourable oppor- 
tunity of cro-ssing Barrow Strait. Prince Regent Inlet and I'eel 
Sound, being about equi-distant, would, cither of them, lead a 
party to the Great Fish River ; and the cairn of empty preserved 
meat canisters found on Bcechey Island may have been erected 
by that party to beguile the weary hours spent in waiting for a 
passage across the Strait. 

In conclusion, I may add that some such a small sea expedition 
as the one I have proposed, down Regent Inlet and through 
the Strait of Bellot, in conjunction with an overland one down 
the Great Fish River, would apjiear to me to combine more of 
the elements of success than any single expedition, though of 
more ostentatious pretensions, whether by sea or land. 

The only apology I have to offer for having entered so 



LS a last rc- 
by the way. 
el, over the 
; behind to 
iter quarters 
:y were seen 
them at the 
,11 Franklin, 
avigation of 
hind him to 
ships, seems 
low, did this, 
1827, having; 
lich was left, 
jergen, when 
irst saw the 
site selected 
:tic observa- 
emity of the 
mmocky ice 
I a far more 
f shini^le on 
1 Terror Bay 
<hips. Here, 
hich I think 

le little ac- 
myself been 
crtakcn for 
n my ocean 
)th at Cape 
ley Island, 
mporary en- 
able oppor- 
ct and I'ecl 
icm, lead a 
ty preserved 
3ccn erected 
liting for a 

a expedition 
id through 

one down 
inc more of 

though of 
entered so 

elaborately upon the subject of this hapless search must rest 
ujjon the deep feelings of interest that have actuated me, for 
years past, in my endeavours to dispel the mystery which hangs 
over it. It is now ten years since I laid before the Board of 
Admiralty my first Plan of Search, down the Coppermine River, 
for the purpose of exploring the very region where relics of our 
unhappy countrymen have since been found. It is now eight 
years since I laid another Plan before the same Hoard, for ex- 
ploring Jones and Smith Sounds into the Polar Ocean, since 
carried out by the Americans, — my own views confirmed, but 
the honour xvon for another country. Above three years have 
elapsed since my return from my boat expedition up the Wel- 
lington Channel, and two years, on the 23rd of last October, 
since I last volunteered my services to their Lordships, to follow 
up the search for relics, at the moment the discovery of them 
was first announced. 

And now, in proposing my present plan of search by Regent 
Inlet and the Strait of Hellot, the greatest proof I can give of" 
my devotion to this noble cause is the offer of my own servi( es 
to conduct it, which I do most willingly, should that plan nuet 
with the approval of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 
and long experience in icy seas, ombined with an intimate 
acquaintance with natural history, geology, and geography ; a 
profession superseding the necessity for the special appointment 
of a medical officer ; and the having already had charge of an 
expedition in the search, be considered fitting qualifications 
for such an undertaking. 

Pemba Cottage, Surbiton-on-Thames, January 6th, 1857. 

R. McCoKMiCK, Surgeon, R.N. 


Admiralty, 14th January, 1857. 
Sir, — I have received and laid before my Lords Commissioners 
of the Admiralty your letter of the 6lh inst., requesting employ- 
ment with an Expedition in .search of further traces of Sir Joh.i 
Franklin, and enclosing your reasons for a renewal of the 

I am, Sir, your very humble Servant, 

R. McCormick, r..sq., Sur„'enn, R.N. 
Pemba Cottage, Siiibiton, Surrey. 



No. 12. 

New York, 
loch April, 1854. 
My dear Sir,— Your extremely kind note of tlic J2iid of March 
came to hand this morning, .'?.s also did a copy of your official 
report to the Admiralty of your explorations in Wellington 
Sound. Allow me to thank you sincerely for both, 1 have 
this evening read the report with deep interest, and must 
say that you give me a better idea of the mode of travelling in 
the arctic regions over ice, land, and water, than any I have seen. 
I like it in all respects, except the last paragraph. I must 
entirely dissent with you from your deductions and conclusions 
contained in that. In my opinion the evidence is stronger now 
than it was four or five years ago, that some of Franklin's party 
are still living. Take the facts which McClure gives us, he 
has been now three years in the Bay of Mercy, blocked up 
by the ice. Cannot he and his party live there as long as they 
could, or longer than they would, if they had been residing in 
London or New York, immersed in all the luxuries which those 
cities afford. McClure's evidence goes to show that abundance 
of food can be procured to sustain human life. 1 have no doubt 
by proper management he could obtain four times the quantity 
that would be requisite to sustain his party, and that, loo, of a 
quality better adapted for an arctic climate than salt beef and 
poik. I think your remarks on the preservation of health in 
I'olar climates will bear me out in this. I grant you if Franklin 
had to depend on the resources on board of his own ships, then 
is his safety " hoping against hope ;" but I i)lace him some- 
whore in the meridian of Hehring Straits, and the parallel of 
75° — similarly situated as McClure is, and where he can live as 
long as McClure can. When that jiart of the world is examined 
where Franklin is supposed to be, and he is not found, and no 
vestiges of ships, I then may begin to entertain the idea that he 
is no more on this earth. You must excuse ine for differing in 
opinion, but that should not cause an}- unkind feelings, and I 
know it will not, for we both have the cause at heart. 

My little expedition now out under the command of Dr. Kane, 
I hope will do something up Smith Sound. The latest date I 
have from him was the 23rd of July last at UpL^rnavik ; he 
wiis then only waiting for a wind to start ; he would probably 
winter on the side of that sound in as high latitude as he 
could obtain ; and then with his dogs, sledges, &c., make Ian 
ice, and water excursions. I think it quite possible he may go 
east instead of west, north of Greenland, Europe, and Asia, per- 
haps America also. Such a wish I expressed to him, and which 
he would follow if he found the current and ice setting to the 
eastward, which he probably would. You will please excuse 


ril, 1854. 

d of March 

•our official 


li. 1 iuive 

and must 

ravcllinj; in 

1 have seen. 

h. I must 


ongcr now 

klin's party 

ivcs us, ho 

blocked up 

mg as they 

residinfj in 

vhich tliosc 


/e no doubt 

lie quantity 

it, too, of a 

It beef and 

f health in 

if Franklin 

ships, then 

him some- 

)arallcl of 

an live as 


d, and no 

ea that he 

ifferini; in 

mgs, and I 

Dr. Kane, 
test date I 
navik ; he 
ude as he 
nake lan^ 
le may go 

Asia, per- 
and which 
ing to the 
ISC excuse 



me for making so long a communication ; when I get on arctic 
subjects, I know not when to stop. Again thanking you for 
your note and report, 

I am, with great regard. 

\'our friend, 
(Signed) HtNKY GkinxelL. 

Dr. R. I\IcCormick. 

No. 13. 

My DKAR Sir,— I have read with very great interest the 
narrative you so kindly .sent me of your expedition to Haring 
Jiay. The whole subject has been full of attraction \c me for 
many years, and I need not say that it is peculiarly .so now. 

I believe with you, and such, I api)iehend, was my son's 
opinion, that Franklin pa.ssed to nortli west from Wellington 
Channel, and that he must have been frc/cn in somewhere to 
the north of Melville Island. I have thought, however, deriving 
the idea, perhaps, from the circumstances of the long drift of 
the American Expedition, that he may have been afterwards 
carried eastward, upon some occasional breaking up of the ice- 
field under the influence of the same great current that Parry 
encountered on his ice-tramp, in which case. Dr. Kane may 
have the happiness of meeting the relics of the party. For I 
cannot think them dead, and were they my countrymen, I 
should hope to protest successfully against the Govcrnmeni's 
abandoning them. 

My .son's last letter to me, as he was leaving Upernavik on 
the 23rd of July, spoke of tne prv)babilities of an open .season, 
and the unusual quantities of ice in the Atlantic at the present 
time, confirms the idea. If .so, I hope he has been able to press 
upwards through Smith Sound, well into the circumpolar 
Sea. The severity of last winter, however, augurs ill, 1 fear, 
of the chances of his early leturn, and it may be that we .shall 
have to invoke the aid of Congress before another year to 
despatch a rescue-party on his track. 

1 thank you very sincerely for your politeness, and only 
regret that, my .son's book being out of print, 1 cannot for a 
Willie offer you a copy of it in relurii. 

1 am, very respectfully, 

Your faithful .servant, 
J. K. K.\m:. 
Philadelphia, 14th April, 1854. 
Dr. McCormick. 



396 Aplindix. 

No. 14. 

From Sir Francis Hfaufokt. 

St. Margarct'-s, October 12th, 1854. 
Dkar Dk. McCoumick,— I am really very much flattered by 
the copy you have sent me of your modest and quiet account 
of the little slice of Arctic Exploration which, after so much 
cajjer and zealous application, fell at length to your share. 

Whatever reader follows your narrative, he will at least say — 
this man, from first to last, intended well, in every difficult case 
acted itr//, and told well both his reasonings and his doings. 
That you may reap the fruit of .so much energy, and long enjoy 
the conscious approbation of so much generous devotion to 
humanity and friendship, are the earnest wishes of 

Yours faithfully, 
I\ Beaufort. 

No. 15. 

From the late Ilydrographer to the Admiralty, Rear-Admiral 
Sir Francis Hkaufokt, KC.B. 

II, Gloucester Place, August 15th, 1855. 
Dkar Dr. McCormick, — After all that was done in tl-.c 
Arctic Seas by our ships, and after all that has since been done 
here by the Government and the public, I feel very sorry to 
learn by your note of yesterday, that no notice has been taken 
of your share of the Expedition, though sanctioned by the 
Board, and executed judiciously and successfully. 

I am not sure in what manner their Lordships could most 
suitably mark their approbation of your singularly persevering 
zeal ; but I am sure that where there's a will there's a way ; 
and as we have never had a First Lord who is a quicker judge 
of real merit, or more disposed to inquire into that merit, so I 
feci satisfied that you should lay the whole matter before him, 
briefly and distinctly. Confinement to bed or sofa for six long 
months vv" not only explain my not being able to write con- 
venient! ink, but, also, my not being able to make any 
more a- endeavours to serve you than by thus honestly 
expressing my sincere conviction that your efforts in the general 
cause were second to none in devotedness. 

Yours very faithfully, 
F. Beaufort. 

12th, 1854. 

flattered by 
juiet account 
tcr so much 
r share. 
t least say — 
difficult case 
1 his doinj^s. 
d lon}| enjoy 

devotion to 




15th, 1855. 
lone in the 
ce been done 
^ery sorry to 
been taken 
oned by the 

could most 

ere's a way ; 

nicker judge 

t merit, so I 
before him, 
for six long 

o write con- 

make any 
lus honestly 

1 the general 




No. 16. 

From JoiiN' Bakrow, Esq., K.R.S., to Sir John Liddkm,, 
Din.'ctor-General of the Medical Department of the Navy. 

Admiralty, November loth, 1855. 
Dear Sir John, — You are well aware of the great interest I 
feci in my esteemed friend Dr. McCormick, and will. I am sure, 
pardon any endeavours on my part to befriend him. The only 
way I can hope to do .so is by an api)eal to the fountain-head 
of hi.; profession. His services in tlie Antarctic Seas with Sir 
James, at Spitzbergcn with Sir ICdwarti I'arry, and hittcrly 
in a boat expedition in search of Franklin, arc of a nature 
peculiar, as compared to those of any other officer in the 
Medical Department of the Navy, and of a very severe and 
arduous description. 

It pains me to .see him stand alone unrewarded for his toil, zeal, 
and spirited performances, and in very trying circumstances. 

Interested as I have been in Arctic adventure, and con- 
versant with the merits of ail engago<' in the Polar Seas, I do 
not hesitate to .say, that none have acquitted themselves better ; 
and convinced that it only requires a full knowledge of Dr. 
McCormick's case to insure some suitable reward being bestowed 
upon iiim. In making this appeal, I hope you will not think 
that I have presumed upon your friend.ship, as I do it from a 
sense o"" "uty I owe to all concerned in these voyages, and none 
n\or I to my friend in whose behalf I now address )ou. 

Believe me, &c., 
John Barrow. 

No, 17. 

From the Vice-President of the Royal College of Surgeons 
John F, South, Esq., to the Dircctor-General, Sir John 


Blackheath Park, May 2 1st, 1856. 
My dear Sir John, — I understand my old pupil, Mr. 
Robert McCormick, is seeking your assistance towards attaining 
his promotion in the service with which he has been connected 
ever since he left St. Thomas's. 

I feel much interest in his welfare, believing him to be an 
able and intelligent Surgeon, of great activity and industry, 
and quite capable of having much good work out of him yet. 

If you can assist him, you will very much oblige me, and 
seive a very able and deserving otficer. 

IJelicve me. 

My dear Sir John, 

Yours very truly, 

J. F. South. 




No. 1 8. 

From Ri:ar-Admiual Hamilton, late Secretary to ihc 


Maiden Newton, Dorset, 

November 13th, 1858. 
My DEAR Sir,— I have written to Sir John Lidtlell, observing, 
as I am sure will be the case, that your services cannot fail to 
be well known to him. 

I shall be jjlad to hear of your succeeding in your wishes. 
Your Antarctic service was a very responsible one ; and in tiie 
Arctic searches there is abundant proof of your spirit of enter- 
prise and professional skill. 

Professor Owen's opinion and goodwill may be of service 
to you. 

I remain, 

Very faithfully yours, 

VV. A. H. Hamilton, 
R. McCormick, Esq., 
Surgeon, R.N. 

i' i: 



No. 19. 

Circular No. 349. 

Admiralty, November 26th, 1858. 
Qualifications for the rank of Medical Inspector of Hospitals 
and Fleets, and of Deputy-Inspector of Hospitals and 
With reference to Chapter III., Article 15, of Her Majesty's 
Regulations, which renders four years' service as Surgeon on 
board a commissioned ship necessary as a qualification for the 
rank of Medical Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets, or of Deputy 
Medical Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets, Her Majesty has 
been graciously pleased, by her Order in Council of the 13th 
inst., to direct that valuable service on shore, at home, or abroad, 
should also be allortcd, in special cases, to count as time for 
rendering a Surgeon eligible for the before-mentioned ranks ; 
and my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty hereby make 
known the same for the information and guidance of all whom 
it may concern. 

By command of their Lordships, 

H. CoRRY. 



tary to ilie 

13th. 1858. 
:II, observinfj, 
aiinot fail to 

your wishes. 

; and in the 
irit of enter- 
be of service 


No, 20. 

From Josi-lMi Henry Grekn. Esq. President of the Royal 

CoIIcfjc of Surgeons. 
To the Right Honourable Sir fohn Pakington, Hart 
iMrst Lord of the Admiralty. &c., &c. 

c.r T » , ^°'|?K^"'"i5urgcons, rcbriiary 2Sth, i8?Q 

f Vr ./^"^"'^ *° '"'"^'t the permission of sayin^ in bclnlf 

known t'^^tr'?'- "'.'? /l'^^"-^' ^-^^Z- "'•'^^ >- '-^ honoS y 
Known to the College of Surrrcons of Fn"I-inrl 1.;, 

numerous and valuable contributions to the Hunterian Muscunr 
sc'en""^ '""''' ''^'' ^"' """^"^' ^'^'''^>' '■" t'- P-suit of ."S 
In respect of his professional character, which is hirrhlv 
esteemed by all who have the honour of hs acquai tance ' 
have no hesitation in recommending him respectf Iv bn 
-rncstly. to the favourable notice o? Her M^'s G^o'vem- 

I remain. Sir, 

Your most obedient Servant, 

JosKpH Henrv Green, 
President of the College of Surgeons 

6th, 1858. 
of Hospitals 
ospitals and 

er Majesty's 
Surgeon on 
ition for the 
jr of Deputy 
Majesty has 
of the 13th 
le, or abroad, 
as time for 
3ned ranks ; 
Jereby make 
of all whom 

^. CORRV. 

No. 21. 

Qiij T^ k • J • u, Admiralty, June 13th, iSG?. 

SIR.-I bcmg desirable to ascertain the state of efficiency 
for employment of the Medical Officers of the Royal Navy on 
half pay. I have to request that you will inform me whether you 

uesled" ^'"^ ''''^'^^ '^'■'''''^- ^"^ ""^'^^ reply is T. 

I am, Sir. 

Your obedient Servant, 
A. Hrvson, 

T? nr '^ -IT- Director-General. 

K. McL-ormick. hsq., 

Deputy Inspector-General, R.N., 

22, Ridgway Place, Wimbledon. 



c,„ T 1- ., , ^^""blcdon, June 14th, 186?. 

SIR,— In compliance with the request conveyed in your letter 
of yesterdays date, in reference to the state of efficiency for 





employment of the Medical Officers of the Royal Navy, I beg 
to acquaint you with my fitness and readiness to serve whenever 
called upon. 

I am. Sir, 

Your obedient humble Servant, 
Deputy Inspector-General, R.N. 
Dr. Bryson, C.R., 
Director-General of the Medical Department 
of the Navy. 

No. 23. 

Admiralty, July 6th. 1865. 
Sir, — I have to request that you will appear at this office 
between eleven and three o'clock on Friday, the 14th instant, to 
be surveyed as to your fitness for active service. 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 
A. Bryson, 
R. McCormick, Esq , 
Deputy Inspector- General, R.N. 

22, Riilgway Place, Wimbledon. 

No. 24. 

Memorial of Robert McCormick, Deputy Inspector-General 
of Hospitals an(5 Fleets, to His Grace the DUKli of 
SOMERSLI", K.G , First Lord of the Admiralty, &c. 

Junior United Service Club, July 1 8th, 1865. 
Humbly showeth : 

1. That your Memorialist in seniority has been forty-two 
years in the Navy, having entered the service and been pro- 
moted to the rank of Surgeon before any other officer on the 
active list of Medical Officers, whether Inspectors, Deputy 
Inspectors, or Surgeons ; and was nine years Senior Surgeon to 
the Director-General himself. 

2. That your Memorialist's services have been chiefly of a 
special nature, having been employed in three different expedi- 
tions of discovery to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. In these 
voyages, the duties of naturalist and geologist devolved upon 
your Memorialist, by whom they were pcrforined, in addition to 
his duties as Chief Medical Officer, without emolument or 



Javy, I beg 
c whenever 


ral, R.N. 

5th, 1865. 

this office 
\ instant, to 




DuKli of 

;th, 1865. 

been pro- 
ccr on the 
rs, Deputy 
Surgeon to 

liefiy of a 
nt expedi- 
In these 
)lved upon 
addition to 

ument or 

reward of any kind, thereby saving to the Government the 
expense which a specially-appointed naturalist and geologist 
must have incurred. 

3. That your Memorialist served with Sir ICdward Parry in 
his attempt to reach the North Pole in 1827; with Sir James 
Ross in his scientific expedition to the Antarctic seas, from 
1839 to 1843 ; and lastly, in command of the Hoat ICxpcdition 
up Wellington Channel in search of Sir John l-'ranklin in 1852-53, 
About seven years spent in icy seas, with lung services in the 
Tropics, having served three times on the West India Station. 

4. That your Memorialist has never rrfuscd active service, 
but has offered himself fit and ready to serve at all times ; and 
on his return from the expedition in search of Sir John Pranklin, 
was a volunteer for the Haltic and HIacK Sea i-leets at the 
commencement of the Crimean War. 

5. That your Memorialist having so recently had the honour 
of attending one of your Grtice's levees, and having met with so 
gracious and considerate a hearing, your Memorialist would not 
have so soon again pressed his claims, had not your Memorialist 
been unexpectedly summoned to the Director-General's Office 
on the 14th instant, to be surveyed as to his fitness for service 
at Hong-Kong, having already reported his fitness anil readiness 
to serve in reply to a previous letter received from the Director- 
General, and repeated at the survey his readiness to go to 
Hong-Kong, or any other part of the world, by sea or land, to 
which he might be sent. 

6. Your Memorialist, under these circumstances, feels con- 
fident that your Grace will not permit an old officer to be 
shelved without any other recognition of services, such as have 
been recorded at the Admiralty, than the tardy promotion to 
the grade of Deputy Inspector-General, nearly twenty years 
after the services rendered for it in the South Polar lixpeditit>n. 

7. That no opportunity has been afforded your Memorialist 
of serving for routine promotion to the next rank, is no fault of 
his. And your Memorialist most respectfully and earnestly 
requests your Grace's attention to the Admiralty Circular of the 
28th of November, 1858, which fully meets this difficulty in 
reference to the service time ; by which a ptjwer is reserved to 
their Lordships in cases of distinguished and special services, to 
promote an officer (//m/ from Deputy-Inspector to the Inspector- 

8. Your Memorialist feels it a duty he owes both to his 
profession and to himself, as an old officer who has devoted his 
best days to a perilous and laborious line of service, peculiar 
and distinct in character from that of any other officer of his 
class, with the single exception of the late Sir John Richardson, 
who so justly obtained his Inspectorship and " Good Service 
Pension," on his retirement from the Service. 

VOL. II. D d 




9. Further, That your Memorialist feels satirificd such 
claims as his need oiily to be respectfully and properly brought 
under the notice of the Duke of Somerset, to secure for them 
the reward he asks, as an old officer who has been devoted to 
the service in which his father served lonji and well, and finally 
lost his life in the wreck of his Majesty's ship l\/ina; of seventy- 
four guns, up the Haltic, of which ship he was Surgeon. 

10. Your Memorialist, however desirous of serving his time, 
has no wish to press for an appointment to the prejudice of any 
brother-officer, whose claims to it may be presumed to be greater 
than his own, but to attain his position on the list of Inspectors 
on Half-pay, which he humbly and most respectfully hopes that 
his Grace will be pleased to promote him to. 

And for which your Memorialist will ever pray. 

No. 25. 

Letter from Professor Owen to General Sabine, President 
of the Royal Society. 

British Museum, July i8th, 1865. 
My dear Saihne, — The new and rare forms of Antarctic 
mammals and birds shot and preserved by Dr. McCormick, when 
Surgeon and Naturalist to Sir James Ross's expedition, and which 
arc described in the Zoology of the Erebus and Terror, as well as 
in the osteological catalogues of the Museum of the Royal College 
of Surgeons, long since impressed me very favourably v/ith his 
attainments and efficiency as a Naval Surgeon. The high state 
of health of every crew under his sanitary supervision has been 
favourably reported on in the official documents at the Admiralty ; 
but it is to Mr. McCormick's relations to science, in the discharge 
of his duties as Surgeon in Polar Expeditions, that I would 
refer, as mainly moving me to ask you to favourably consider 
his desire that the very reasonable Memorial he proposes to 
submit to the First Lord, should have the important advantage 
of being indorsed or forwarded by you, now the chief, if not 
.sole surviving judge of what the gallant men endured and 
hazarded in those renowned Expeditions. In hope that you 
may sec reason to give Mr. McCormick this aid, 

I remain. 

Very faithfully yours, 

KiciiAKU Owen. 

cd that such 
|)crly brought 
lire for them 
n devoted to 
1, and finally 
f, of scvcnty- 

in^ his time, 
jtidice of any 
to be greater 
af Inspectors 
ly hopes that 


No. 26. 


sfE, President 

18th, 1865. 
of Antarctic 
irmick, when 
)n, and wriich 
^or, as well as 
loyal College 
bly with his 
le high state 
on has been 
: Admiralty ; 
he discharge 
hat I would 
bly consider 
proposes to 
it advantage 
chief, if not 
ndured and 
pe that you 


The Royal Society, Hurlington House, London, VV., 
. July 19th, 1865. 

MY DKAR Sik,— I am extremely glad to have an opportunity 
ol testifying the high sense which is entertained by the cultiva- 
tors of Natural History of the Arctic and Antarctic regions ..f 
the value of your scientific services in the several Naval Expedi- 
tions which you have accompanied. 

I entirely agree with Professor Owen, whose note I return 
and than whom there cannot be a better judge, that your lonJ 
and varied services in both hemispheres entitle you to the hiirlmt 
consideration from those who have the privilege of conferrinLr 
the professional recompense which may be due to the zealous 
and devoted manner in which you have performed the duties 
which have been entrusted to you. 
I remain, my dear Sir, 
With great respect and regard, very sincerely yours, 

Edward Sahine, 

I'resideiit of the Royal Society. 
Dr. McCormick, 

Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets. 

' No. 27. 

cr, ^v•.l- c , Admiralty, July 28th, I S65. 

bIR,— With reference to the survey held on you on the 14th 
instant, I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty to acquaint you that they have been pleased to place 
you on the Retired List of Deputy Inspectors-General. 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

No. 28. 

Letter to His Grace the Duke of Somerset, K.G., First Lord 

of the Admiralty. 

Junior United Service Club, 
n/r T T^ T July 31st, 1865. 

JWy LORD Duke,— I venture respectfully but earnestly, in the 
painful position to which the summary removal of my name from 
the "Active" to the "Retired" List of Deputy Inspectors- 
General has consigned me, without any recognition whatever of 
past claims, to appeal to your Grace's own sense of justice, feelin"- 





assured from the considerate hcirinfj which those cLnims were 
favoured with .it your (iracc's last Icvci", that tliis appeal will 
not be made in vain frouj an old officer, devoted to the service, 
who has been arl)itrarily cast asiile by medical authorities at a 
survey (in his own profession, too), without so much as any 
specific assij;nable cause of inefficiency on iiis part bcin;^ tjivcn 
hitn ; and who, still feeling; himsilf as able and willinif to serve 
as ever, reported himself ready to ^o out to IIonj^-Konjj, on 
bein^ asked that question by the Director-General. 

1 cannot but feel, my Loril Duke, under such peculiar circum- 
stances, with a Memorial, endorsed as it has been by such names 
as Major-General Sabine, the distinf^uished President of the 
Jioyal Society, and Professor Owen, now lyinjj before your 
Grace, all that is required is, if possible, to obtain for its 
consideration a leisure moment from the pressure of public 
duties, which so fully, I am aware, occupy your (irace's and their 
Lordships' time, unfortunately for nie, at this most eventful 
crisis to myself. 

I yet earnestly presume to hope that your Grace, with the 
Boanl of Admiralty, will, in their t^racious consideration, not 
permit any ordinary routine obstacles in such a special case as 
the present to stand in the way of doinjj a sim|)le .ict of justice, 
— by }^rantin;4 me that step in rank on a compulsory removal 
from the active list, which has of late been so <;encrally conferred 
upon almost every other ^rade on rctiiement. 

The want of routine time, no fault of mine, appears to be the 
only diflficuity to be jjot over ; and, setting aside every personal 
feeling of my own, allow me, my Lord Duke, out of jjratitude 
to them, to claim at your hands some consideration for the 
names of the highly distinguished and eminent men who have 
so generously and ably borne honourable testimony to the 
claims put forward in my Memorial to your Grace, a favourable 
recognition of which cannot fail to convey a gratifying tribute 
of respect to the recommendations of these representatives of 
science, a.'.d to the profession to which I belong : that rewards 
for spixuxl services are open to the Medical Officer as to other 
grades in the service. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord Duke, 
Most respectfully, 
Your Grace's humble and obedient Servant, 
R. McCoRMiCK, 
Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets. 


-I laving 

laid before 

No. 29. 

Admiralty, August loth, 1865. 
my Lords Commissioners of the 




laims were 
;tp|)eal will 
he service, 
irities at a 
ch as any 
ciiv^ jjivcn 
1V4 to serve 
j-Konj;, on 

iar circum- 
iiich names 
ent of the 
(cforc your 
iiin for its 
: of public 
's and their 
)st eventful 

re, with the 
.'ration, not 
:ial case as 
t of justice, 
5ry removal 
ly conferred 

rs to be the 

r)- personal 

ion for the 
who have 

)ny to the 


in<j tribute 

ntatives of 

it rewards 

as to other 

d Fleets. 

)th, 1865. 
crs of the 

Admiralty your Memorial of the 31st July, praying to be pro- 
moted to the rank of Inspector-Cieneral of Hospitals and Fleets, 
I am commanded by their Lc)r<lship-i to express their regret 
that they cannot comply with your r<.'iiULst. 

1 am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

K. G. RoMAlNli. • 
Robert McCorniick, ICsq., 
Deputy Ins|)ector-General of Hospitals and Fleets, 
junior United Service Club. 

No. 30. 


From the Professor of Anatomy, on complyinff with the Ad- 
miralty Circular of 1845, requiring' all candidates for 
promotion to the Inspectorial ranks to j^o throuj^h a course 
of capital Operations in Suryery, suLsetjuent to the date of 
the Circular. 

Westminster Hospital School of Medicine, 
2'')th August, 1.S45. 
My DKAR Sir, — It is with no ordinary pleasure I transmit a 
Certificate for the course of I'raclical Anatomy and Surgical 
Oi)orations you have just finished. I can bear testimony to the 
enthusiasm you displayed in your daily dissections, and to the 
precision and dexterity you uniformly evinced in pcrformintj 
the cajjital operations of Surijery. I'Vom the knovvletlj^e you 
possess of Surj;ical Anatomj', and the Inj^her branches of medical 
and surgical science, you cannot fail to be appreciated as a most 
valuable member of your profession by all who have the pleasure 
of your acquaintance. 

I have the honour to remain, my dear Sir, 
With respect and esteem, yours, 


P.S. — Should you deem the above note of any importance, 
you are at liberty to use it in any manner you may think 
proper. — R.H. 

No. 31. 

Certificate from Captain Sir jAMF.s C. Ross, R.N. 

I IIKKKI'Y certify that Mr. Robert McCormick served as Sur- 
geon of H.M.S. Enbus, under my command, from the loth of 
April, 1839, to the 23rd of September, 1843, during which time 



he behaved with dilicjciicc, attcnt'on, and sobriety, and was 
always obedient to command. 

I further certify, that in addition to his duties as chief Medical 
Officer of the lCx|)edition, which he fulfilled with great ability, 
he to.)k charj^e of the Geoloj^ical and Zoolojjical collections, 
which through his untiring industry and zeal have proved of 
much interest and importance in those departments of science. 

J AM lis C. Ross, Captain. 

December 9th, 1843. 

No. 32. 

Letter from Captain (Sir Howard) Parky, R.N. 

Alderley Park, December 7th, 1827. 
Dear McCt)RMICK, — Your letter, announcing the agreeable 
information of your promotion, has only lately reached me, in 
consequence of my absence at Liverpool, 

I now hasten to offer you my very sincere and hearty con- 
gratulations on this event, and I only regret having had no hand 
in obtaining for you what your abilities and conduct so justly 

I should be very glad to avail myself of your offer, if there 
were any idea of another K.xpedition being fitted out, which, 
however, I can assure you is by no means the case. 

I hope the delay of my answer will not have interfered with 
your obtaining other employment. 

With every wish for jour future welfare, 

I remain. 

Very faithfully yours, 

W. E. Parry. 

No. 33. 

Certificate from Captain (Sir Edward) Parry, R.N. 

TlIKSK are to certify the principal officers and commissioners 
of His Majesty's Navy, that Mr. Robert McCormick served as 
Assistant-Surgeon of JI.M.S. y/tv/<f, under my command, on a 
voyage of discovery towards the North Pole, from the i8th day of 
November, 1826, to the ist day of November, 1827. 

During which time his conduct was at all times such as to 
merit my highest approbation, not only in the performance of 
the ordinary duties of his station, but in various other depart- 

!ty, and was 

:liicf Medical 
great ability, 
I collections, 
/e proved of 
! of science. 
^ Captain. 

, R.N. 

7th, 1827. 
c agreeable 
iched me, in 

hearty con- 
had no hand 
ct so justly 

)ffer, if there 
out, which, 

erfercd with 

^. Parrv. 

Appendix. 407 

ments, in which his time could be employed with benefit to the 
peculiar service in which the Hala was engaged 

Given under my hand, on hoard the thcla, at Deptford, 
this 1st day of November, iS.?/. 

W. \L. I'AKKv, Captain. 

No. 34. , 

From Sir A.stley Coopkr, Bart., to Captain (Sir 
Hdwakd) Pakkv, R.N. 
Dear Sir,— Mr. McCormick is a well-informed Surgeon and 
very enterprismg man. well suited to be attached to a dangerous 
service, and to join one who has immortalized himself "by his 
genius, intrepidity, and his discoveries, like Captain Parry. 

Yours very truly, 

». . . M „ ^ A.STLEY Cooper. 

beptembcr 2otIi, 1826. 

r, R.N. 

k served as 
mand, on a 
; 18th day of 

1 such as to 
formance of 
thcr depart- 










fflinlB li' 




1 vB 




. 1 ' ' 




■ I 



1. Medical Officers attached to Scientific Voyaj^es of Dis- 
covery to be incluiied in the promotion conferred on all other 
classes of officers en^a^ed in these lixpeditions. 

2. Valuable and distinguished services in such Expeditions to 
be allowed, in special cases, to cianit as time, in rciiderinj^ a 
Medical Officer eligible for promotion to the inspectorial rank. 

3. Good Service Tensions to be more liberally bestowed on 
the Medical Officers of the Navy, and according to relative 
rank. Pensions to Inspectors-General to be the same as to 
Elag-CJfficers ; to Deputy Inspectors-General the same as 

4. Medical Officers to be included with other classes of ofTicers 
in the distribution of the Greenwich Hospital Pensions, according 
to relative rank. 

5. Medical Oflficers of the Navy to be placed on an equality 
with other classes of officers in the Navy, and with the Medical 
OfBcers in the Army in the distribution of honorary distinctions 
and rewards of merit. 

6. Deputy Inspectors-General to rank on promotion with full 
Colonels in the Army, and the Senior Captains in the Navy ; 
and, on compulsory retirement from the Service, to be eligible 
for promotion (without service time) to the next step in rank, as 
so generally granted to every other class of officers on final 

Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets. 

November, 1865. ," 


i^es of Dis- 
Jii all other 

pcditions to 
rciKlciiiif^ a 
orial rank, 
bestowed on 
to relative 
same as t'> 
; same as 

ss of officers 
IS, according 

an equality 
he Medical 

on with full 
the Navy ; 
be eligible 
in rank, as 

MS on final 

d Fleets. 



Adventure, a perilous, i. 73. 
Adventures up Cumberland Bay, 

'■ 55- 
Albatross, wooing and nests, i. 141. 
Antarctic Continent, i. 1S7. 
Antarctic ice hotel, our, i. 253. 
Appendix, ii. 369. 
Appointment, my first, ii, 189. 
Arched Rock, Christmas Harbour. 

i. 48. 
Arctic Highlands, ii. 45. 
Ascension Island, i. 367. 
Astronomical summary, i. 355. 
Auckland Islands, i. 129. 
Auckland Islands Company, ii. 

297; 302. 
Aurora Australis, i. 183 
Autobiography, ii. 185. 
Aylesbury duck, my pet, ii. 363. 

B.\nAMAS, ii. 209. 
Ballcny's Island, i. 179. 
Baobab-tree, i. 15 ; I'orta Praya, 

ii. 221. 
Barbadoes, ii. 208. 
Baring Ray, ii. 131. 
Barrier berg, five miles long, i. 353. 
Barrier Bight, the, i. 169. 
Basaltic Mount, Kergticiens, i. 5 1. i 
B.iy of Refuge, or McCormick's ! 

13ay, ii. 117. | 

Bear hunt, Spitzbergen, i. 411. 
Beaufort Island, i. 186. 
Beechey Island, ii. 49. 
Bellinghausen, i. See Chart. 
Bellot, Lieut., ii. 93. 
Berkeley Sound, i. 327. 
Black Mount, ii. 126, 
Bligh's Cap, i. 47. 


a«rcnt of. 

Boatswain Roberts drowned, i. 98. 
Boobies on St. Paul's Rocks, i. 20. 
Bull, wild, conflict with, i. 291. 
Bushranger, the, i. 205. 

CAnnAGE, of Kerguelen's Lmd, 

i. 69. 
Campbell Island, i. 139. 
Canary Islands, i. 14. 
Cape Bellot, ii. 115. 
Cape Bowden, ii. 1 1 1 

Cape Fran(;ois, i. 53. 
Cape Grinnell, ii. 113. 
Cape Horn, i. 299. 
Cape King, ii. 118. 
Cape McHain, ii. 112. 
Cape McCormick, i. 186. 
Cape North, i. 178. 
Cape of (Jood Hope, i. 36. 
Cape Osborn, ii. 12 r. 
Cape Phillip!?, i. 186. 
Cape Pirn, ii. 118. 
Cape Riley, ii. 47. 
Cape Spencer, i. 313 ; j, 

ascent of, 60. 
Caswall Tower, ii. 47 ; asc.-nt oC, 

Chart of the Wellington Ciianncl 

II; 330. 
Christmas Harbour, i 47. 
Clark Bay, ii. 112. 
Club-moss Bay, i. So. 
Coal in Kerguelen's I, mil. 
Collision with the Terrors 
Comet of ,843, i. 349- 
Concluduig remarks on the Frank 

hn Search, ii. 160. 
Convents of Madeira, i. 13. 


i. «2. 













Cooper, Sir Astley, ii. 264. 

Comwallis I^nd, ii. 115. 

Correspondence, re the Boat Ex- 
pedition, ii. 176. 

Correspondence with the Admi- 
rahy, ii. 365 ; 37a. 

Coulman Island, i. See Chart. 

Course of studies, ii. 215. 

Crossing the Antarctic Circle, i. 

Crozet Islands, i. 44. 

Cumberland Bay explored, i. 55. 

Davis's Straits, ii. 5. 

D Urban, Sir B., Governor of Cape 
'I'own, i. 41. 

Devil's Thumb, Melville Bay, ii. 

Dinner party on board the In- 
trepid, ii. 34. 

Disco, ii. 13. 

Dogs, Erebus and Terror, ii. 15. 

Easter Island, i. 45. 
Enderby Island, i. 129. 
Enterprise and Endeavour Boats, 

i. 401. 
Epple Bay Station, ii. 195. 
Erebus, appointed to the, ii. 279. 
Erebus and Terror Ball, i. 200. 
Excursion across Tasmania, i. 109. 

pAinv Land, St. Helena, i. 33, 360. 
Falkland Islands i- 283. 
Fitton Bay, ii. 145. 
Forlorn Hope, article in Eraser, ii. 


Forster's Peak, ascent of, i. 307. 

Fossil forests on Kerguelen's Is- 
land, i. 95. 

Fossil tree of Tasmania, i. 119. 

Fossil tree on Kerguelen's Is- 
land, i. 54. 

Fossil willow, Salix McCormickii, 
i. 195. 

Franklm Island, i. 186. 

Franklin, Lady, li. 299 ; last inter- 
view with, ii. 327. 

Franklin, Sir John, i. 103. 

Franklin's Beacon, ii. 141. 

Gale in the pack, i. 262. 

Geology of Kerguelen's Island, 

i. 90. 
Graham Harbour, ii. 97. 
Gr'gson Bav, i. 70. 
Griffin Bay, ii. 112. 

Havanha, ii. 240. 

Heda, appointed to the, ii. 197. 

Hermite Island, i. 299. 

Highest latitude reached, i. 271. 

Hobart Town, i. 101. 

Homan-em-p^e, i. 11. 

Hyacinth, appointed to the, ii. 205. 

Jamaica, ii. 191. 

Kanoaroo hunt, i. 105. 
Kater's Peak, i. 311. 
Kava-Kava River, i. 213. 
Kerguelen's Island, i. 48. 
Kiddi Kiddi Falls, i. 236. 

Ladder Hill, St. Helena, i. 32. 
Lapland, i. 379. 
Launceston. Tasmania, i. 113. 
Levt?es at the Admiralty, ii. 351. 
Lievely Harbour, 98. 
Longwood, St. Helena, i. 29. 
Lost in the snowdrift, ii. 71. 
Lot, and Lot's Wife, i. 34. 
Louis Philippe Land, i. 336. 

Madeira, i. 4. 

Magnetic Pole, nearest approach 

to, i. 175. 
Martinique, ii. 193. 
Mary, the. Sir J. Ross's yacht, ii. 

Maxwell Bay, ii. 46. 
McCormick Bay, or Bay of Refuge, 

ii. 117. 
McMurdo Bay, i. 173. ^ 

Mount Melbourne, i. 160. 
Mount Providence, ii. 139. 
Mounts Erebus and Terror, i. 164. 
Mounts Sabine and Herschell, 1. 

My proposed Boat Expedition, ii. 


Napoleon's Tomb at St. Helena, 
«• 33- 



Narrative or Boat Expedition, 

ii. 105. 
New Year's festivities, i. 255. 
Night in the woods, i. 243. 
Nine-pin Rock of Trinidad, i. 23. 
North Star driven ashore, ii. 57 ; 

appointed to the, ii. 321. 

Owen Point, ii. 135. 

Paramatta, excursion to, i. 211. 
Parry Mountains, i. 166. 
Peck, Farmer, Cape Town, i. 37. 
Penguins on Possession Island, 

'•. 153- 
Perilous explorings, i, 73. 
Petrel, the night, i. 87. 
Pico Ruivo, ascent of, i. 5. 
Plans for reaching North and South 

Poles, i. 423. 
Plans of Search, Appendix, ii. 

Plans of Search discussed in the 

House, ii. 309. 
Pomarfe, chief, i. 215; farm of, i. 

219 ; visits the ship, i. 229. 
Porto Praya, i. 15 ; ii. 221. 
Portraits of Arctic explorers, ii. 

Possession Island, Southern Con- 
tinent, i. 45, 152. 
Pressure on the Admiralty, ii. 340. 
Promoted at last, ii. 348. 

Receive the Greenwich Hospital 

pension, ii. 357. 
Red Beach, i. 391. 
Reindeer stalking, i. 407. 
Rejection of my Flans, ii. 311. 
Rio de Janeiro, i. 370. 
Rocks of Kerguelen's Island, i. 72. 
Rogier Head, 119. 
Roman Gateway Rock, i. 177. 

Santa Cruz, i. 15. 

Second boat exploration of Cum- 
berland Bay, i. 65. 

Simon's Bay, i. 36, 361. 

Sophia Cove, ii. 149. 

Southern Continent discovered, i. 

Southern Cross, i. 26, 57, 99. 
Spitzbergen, i. 385. 
St. Domingo, i. 16. 
St. Helena, i. 27, 365. 
St. Paul's Rocks, i. 18 ; ii. 221. 
St. Martin's Cove, Tierra del 
Fuego, i. 299. 

Stone Streams of the Falklands. 

Storm Bay, i. 100, 
Stormy Petrel, the, ii. 126. 
Suggestions for preserving health 

in Polar regions, ii. 172. 
Summary of attempt to reach South 

Pole, i. 185. 

Summary of Hermite Island, i. 

Summary of the Falkland Islands, 

'• 330- 
Summary of Spitzbergen, i. 415. 
Suiiimary of third voyage to the 

I^ole, i. 351. 
Swan Bay, i. 295. 
Sydney, N.S.W., i. 209. 

Table Mountain, ascent of, i. 41. 
Temperature 51" below zero, ii. 

Terror, appointed to the, ii. 251. 
Tesselated pavement, Tasmania, 

i. 122. 
Testimonials, Appendix, ii. 401. 
Teyde, Peak of, i. 14. 
Third approach to the Pole, i. 332. 
Tierra dt;l Fuego, i. 299. 
Tree Fern, Waimate, i. 225. 
Treurenberg Bay, i. 398. 
Trinidad, i. 23. 

Union Bay, ii. 49. 
Upernivik, ii. 25. 

Victoria Land, i. 150. 
Vineyards at the Cape, i. 38. 

Waimate, i. 223. 

Waiomio, i. 232. 

Walden Island, i. 396. 

Walking tours. South Coast, ii. 
20 r; Scotland, 216; Home 
Counties and the West, 248; 

( i 




Midlands, 249 ; Devonshire, 
251; West of England and 
Wales, 253, 257 ; the Lake 
district, 266^ Eastern Counties, 

Waygatz Strait, ii. 23. 
Weddeil's Track, i. 344. 

West Indies, ii. 207, 331. 
Whalefish Islands, ii. 7. 
Whales and Seals, i. 172. 
Whaling fleet, ii. 32. 
William and Mary, appointed to 

the, ii. 28C. 
Wreck of the McLflUn, ii. 38. 






• 7- 

appointed to 

tn, ii. 38.